It’s been another exciting week of news from the world of television, with a Mortal Kombat star calling out Amazon, Ellen DeGeneres announcing the end of her talk show and, Ewan McGregor teasing the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+.
All of those stories and more in this week’s TV News Roundup…
Ludi Lin calls out lack of diversity in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series
Mortal Kombat actor Ludi Lin has expressed his frustration at the upcoming Lord of the Rings series, which is being worked on by Amazon Studios. After Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke tried to justify the immense $465 million budget for the series, Lin addressed her directly on Twitter.
"It's going to be difficult to justify building a "huge world" without any characters that look Asian. Turn that imagine on us," he tweeted, adding: "It's not hard, we're right here."
The comments came after it was announced director Charlotte Brändström had been added to the team for the series, known for her work on Netflix's hit show The Witcher.
Whether or not Amazon will respond remains to be seen, but it’s certainly opened up conversations around representation and diversity in some of the world’s most anticipated TV shows.
Celebrity guests revealed for Friends reunion
HBO Max have revealed that their upcoming Friends reunion won't just feature the original stars of the show, but a whopping 18 celebrity guests in some capacity.
With Ben Winston serving as director, it was revealed that David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon and Malala Yousafzai would all be appearing.
Exactly how they’ll factor into the reunion special remains to be seen, but we can’t wait to watch it all go down! The reunion airs on HBO Max in the US on May 27th, 2021.
Ellen DeGeneres to end talk show with Season 19
Earlier this week, Ellen DeGeneres announced that she would be ending her long-running talk show, aptly-named The Ellen DeGeneres Show, following its nineteenth season. She claims it’s something she has known was coming for some time.
The announcement was made in an opening monologue for an episode of DeGeneres' show; a moment she compared to another significant decision she made when she 'came out' as a lesbian back in 1997.
She said: "The past 18 years has changed my life — you all have changed my life and I am forever grateful to all of you for watching, for laughing, for dancing, sometimes crying.
“This show has been the greatest experience of my life and I owe it all to you...Two years ago I signed a three-year deal. I always knew in my heart that 19 would be my last. Nineteen is a great number…
“In 1997 I knew it was time to come out on my sitcom and live my truth. Back then I had a vivid dream that a bird flew out of a cage and set itself free because it needed to get out of the cage. Recently I had a dream that a beautiful bird with bright red feathers whispered to me ‘You can still do stuff on Netflix.’ And that was the sign I was looking for.”
Ewan McGregor teases Obi-Wan Kenobi series costume
Recently appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, actor Ewan McGregor was chatting about what it was like to be back in character as the lead in Disney+'s upcoming series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. When addressing his costume however, he had something very cryptic to say…
"The costume's probably slightly different, you know, than you might expect," he teased, before moving the conversation on to something else. With over a decade since we last saw him, it’s no surprise that there will be some form of change with the outfit. Exactly how much it has evolved however, remains to be seen.
Sandra Oh shuts down Grey’s Anatomy return chances
Speaking on the LA Times' Asian Enough podcast, Sandra Oh was definitive in her answer about ever potentially returning to long-running medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. It was, unfortunately, a “no”.
"I love it though, and this is also why I really appreciate the show... that I still get asked this”, she explained. “I left that show, my God, seven years ago almost. So in my mind, it’s gone. But for a lot of people, it’s still very much alive. And while I understand and I love it, I have moved on.”
The star added: “So please come with me to Killing Eve and on to [the upcoming Netflix series] The Chair and on to the other projects. Come see the characters that I’m playing that are much more deeply integrated in… the Asian American experience.”