Director Steven Spielberg speaks onstage during the Academy Awards, Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo/JTA-Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Director Steven Spielberg speaks onstage during the Academy Awards, Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo/JTA-Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Spielberg wins Genesis Prize; Evan Rachel Wood details antisemitic abuse by ex Marilyn Manson; etc.

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.


Spielberg wins the big prize

Steven Spielberg has beat out notables such as Barbra Streisand and the Bay Area’s own Marc Benioff to win this year’s Genesis Prize. It’s the first time the public could vote on who gets the $1 million pot (so far always donated to charity). Spielberg is being recognized not only for his filmmaking, but also for his groundbreaking support for preserving the voices of Holocaust history through the USC Shoah Foundation.


Singer used antisemitic slurs

Actor Evan Rachel Wood has come out with more details in abuse allegations against her former fiancé, singer Marilyn Manson. She said on Instagram that it included antisemitic abuse. “I was called a ‘Jew’ in a derogatory manner,” Wood wrote in her Instagram stories, according to People, which published screenshots. “He would draw swastikas over my bedside table when he was mad at me,” she said.


Who will be the winner?

Jewish stars are among the nominees for the 2021 NAACP Image Awards, which celebrate Black achievement in movies, television, music and literature. The list includes actors Tracee Ellis Ross, Jurnee Smollett and Rashida Jones, along with rappers Drake and Doja Cat. Author Walter Mosley, known primarily for his detective novels, also was nominated.

Jurnee Smollett in “Lovecraft Country.” (Photo/HBO)
Jurnee Smollett in “Lovecraft Country.” (Photo/HBO)

And Golden Globe nominations are out for the award ceremony’s 78th year. “Schitt’s Creek” and its stars Eugene Levy and Dan Levy are on the list, as is “Unorthodox” and its star Shira Haas. Two Sacha Baron Cohen films (“The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Borat 2,” also known as “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) are nominated along with a host of other actors, writers and filmmakers.


San Jose “Saved by the Bell” actor dies

Bay Area native and actor Dustin Diamond, known for his TV role on classic show “Saved by the Bell,” has died. He was 44. After growing up in San Jose, from 1983 to 1993 Diamond played Samuel “Screech” Powers on the show, a role the San Francisco Chronicle called “part of a long and proud TV tradition of dorky loyal sidekicks who became iconic in their own right.” But his career never escaped the pull of that role, which he reprised in later spin-offs.

Dustin Diamond at Universal Studios, May 16, 2016. (Photo/JTA-Noel Vasquez-Getty Images)
Dustin Diamond at Universal Studios, May 16, 2016. (Photo/JTA-Noel Vasquez-Getty Images)

Writer faces down widowhood

Melissa Gould, a TV writer on shows such as “Beverly Hills, 90210”, is stepping into the light herself with a new book, “Widowish.” In it she describes what it was like losing her husband, Joel Gould, when he was 50 and she was in her mid-40s, and what it took for her to assume the mantle of “the widow” and move on.


You just can’t look away

People may love to hate him, but they’re undeniably fascinated with Adam Neumann, the brash entrepreneur who took coworking space WeWork on a meteoric rise — and fall. The Israeli, who was famous for his glib tongue and lavish lifestyle — he owned Bill Graham’s Marin house with a living room shaped like a guitar — is the subject of not one but three upcoming dramatizations. Apple TV+ is producing “WeCrashed,” while another TV show and a feature film are also in the works.

Adam Neumann speaks at WeWork Weihai Road in Shanghai, April 12, 2018. (Photo/JTA-Jackal Pan-Visual China Group via Getty Images)
Adam Neumann speaks at WeWork Weihai Road in Shanghai, April 12, 2018. (Photo/JTA-Jackal Pan-Visual China Group via Getty Images)
Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.