LA Times Fixes Its Fox/Film Critics Story
As I expected, the Los Angeles Times finally swallowed its pride and today posted a “For The Record” correction fixing several facts in its story about the Chicago Films Critics Association and 20th Century Fox. I'm told there will also be a follow-up story. Previous: Chicago Film Critics Assn Says LA Times Story On 20th Fox… Read
UPDATE: ABC Is Wrong; Spielberg Not Thinking Of Quitting Beijing Olympics
Given how protective he is of his public image, it's far from surprising that Steven Spielberg is increasingly public about his behind-the-scenes role to convince the Chinese government to influence its largest oil supplier Sudan to stop the Darfur genocide. “We're making our voice heard,” Spielberg's political adviser Andy Spahn told me today. He confirmed that they expect a Chinese statement on the issue in the next weeks.
But Spahn denied an ABC News website Read
ABC's Steve McPherson Bashes NBC's Ben
NBC's Ben Silverman is traveling in the South Of France with his TV idol Norman Lear (someone emailed me claiming it was with American Idol's Ryan Seacrest) and therefore can't defend himself. But ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson basically called Ben a big pussy today. Believe me, nothing on the networks is as interesting as what went on after the official ABC exec's press conference at the Television Critics Association confab at the Beverly Hilton. These suits… Read
Disney Ends Cigarette Smoking In Movies
This isn't exactly a surprise because Disney had been moving towards this since 2004 and even earlier when Joe Roth ran the movie division. But Disney CEO Bob Iger today issues a dramatic apology and promise to Congress about depicting smoking in Disney-branded movies. Here's what's interesting: my pal Julia Boorstin at CNBC's Media Money blog reports that Disney made this news public not in Hollywood, but on the national stage. Iger declared his company's new commitment… Read
ICM Makes Motion Picture Talent Changes
I'm told that “as part of the ongoing transition and restructuring” that stripped Ed Limato of his co-president title, veteran ICM agent Toni Howard is the agency's new head of motion picture talent. I understand senior agent Carol Bodie “chose to relinquish the role” (which Howard last had in 1999) and “focus more on her clients” like Claire Danes, Dermot Mulroney, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jim Sturgess. Leigh Brillstein will continue to head television talent. As everyone… Read
EXCLUSIVE: Chicago Film Critics Assn Says LA Times Story On 20th Fox Wrong
Here is a new and definitive letter from the Chicago Film Critics Association explaining all about its supposed beef with 20th Century Fox over screening and embargo issues. The end result is that the Los Angeles Times now needs to make some major corrections to the July 20th Calendar article it wrote on the subject. My understanding is that the newspaper was very arrogantly refusing to admit it got anything wrong about the small brouhaha. And the management of the Times… Read
Homer Beats Up NBC/GE On Tonight Show
Wow, those people at Fox sure know how to market a movie. First, Homer Simpson opened American Idol back in May to tease the pic. Now he introduced The Tonight Show this evening before the film's July 27th release — and the toon did an NBC-bashing, GE-mugging monologue to boot. In the animated intro, Homer quipped that NBC stands for “Never Been Crappier”. Homer also said that “GE makes a lot of other bad things. According to my daughter Lisa, GE fills the air with more… Read
Are Bancrofts Leaning 'No' To Rupe Deal?
When news warrants, I've been trying to file brief updates on the bumpy road that the Murdoch-Dow Jones deal is traveling. Here's the latest: One Bancroft family member who is a member of the Dow Jones board and staunchly opposes the Murdoch deal, Christopher Bancroft, is wearing a blue fishing cap with the words “Bite Me” embroidered on it. Another key family member who had been ambivalent about the sale and seen as a swing vote inside the clan is now definitely… Read
Michael Moore About To Issue 'Sicko' Card On Pic's Website To Scare Health Insurers
One day, when he's sick of making documentaries, Sicko filmmaker Michael Moore should start a powerhouse marketing company. Because no one does it better than he does. He's picked public fights with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, accused the New York Stock Exchange of banning a CNBC interview with him, and milked that federal probe of his trip to Cuba for the movie. And those are just the controversies I remember. As well he should, and all documentary filmmakers should emulate his… Read
UPDATED: Patrick Goldstein Responds To LA Times' Killing Of His Column For Today
I've just been emailed the column that Los Angeles Times Hollywood writer Patrick Goldstein wrote for today. But it didn't run. The paper killed it — actually John Montorio, newly promoted from associate editor to managing editor for features, axed it — then offered the lame excuse that Goldstein was on assignment.
UPDATE: Patrick Goldstein just gave me a statement: “Obviously no columnist is ever very happy about having their column killed. But I'm much more… Read
Bless Hollywood, For They Have Sinned
A Christian ministry started by a former associate producer of Headliners and Legends with Matt Lauer is calling for people to pray for celebrities instead of boycotting their movies. According to the story about the Hollywood Prayer Network in today's Orange County Register, members send messages to God for Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, Seinfeld writer Larry David, actress Drew Barrymore, and, “considering their recent troubles,” Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie. What's most… Read