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Friday, February 29, 2008

Hollywood Needs To Leave 2008 Olympics in China Alone

By Holly Wood. We are detecting a movement by certain elements in this business to protest the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We say "Stop It Now" because any sort of boycott would be counterproductive to the best interests of the United States and destructive to Beijing/Hollywood relations. Moreover, it would just be plain out stupid. Trying to use the Olympics as a political tool will not change conditions in Darfur. And Stephen Speilberg withdrawing as an advisor to the 2008 Olympics was completely ineffectual. A personal indulgence by a rich Hollywood director. An empty symbolic gesture at best. Has Speilberg even been to Sudan? And Mia Farrow calling them "the Genocide Olympics" is useless name calling.

China is a major trading partner with Sudan purchasing oil and staying out of the country's internal affairs. Admittedly not getting involved to try to prevent the mass murders, rapes and population displacement is a moral dilemma, but does the U.S., and particularly Hollywood, have any case for claiming moral superiority in this area? We don't think so. What have the USA and Hollywood done to stop the so called genocide in Darfur? Not much but talk. And the occassional photo-op drive by. As we have learned in Iraq, if you get in for a penny you get in for a pound and the Chinese simply want the oil without the responsibility of nation building. Imagine that. And from where we sit America has no special claim to lecture China on human rights. If America is so interested in preventing human rights abuses in Sudan then the USA should do something about it instead of arrogantly trying to pressure China to pressure the Sudanese government in Khartoum to be humane. Regardless of what ever else we do or don't do, just leave the 2008 Olympics alone.
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

PETA Goes After The Queen of Soul

And we say LEAVE HER ALONE. PETA wants Aretha Franklin to donate her furs to the homeless. PETA evidently 'convinced' Mariah Carey to do just that. We bet Aretha ain't giving up her furs and she doesn't need the tax break. Fur is a renewable resource.

Keep that fur Aretha. Black folks were not able to afford furs until about 40 or 50 years ago and the majority population has enjoyed wearing furs for centuries. Then when Black folks can afford furs, or waterfront houses, the eco-biased ignore history and try to repress those who were repressed for centuries. Shame on PETA for messing with Aretha. If you have any trouble from them Ree Ree, give us a call.
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Friday, February 15, 2008

Writers Strike Over But Was It Worth It?

The strike helped the Writers Guild of America (WGA) achieve gains from the Alliance of Motion Pitcure and Television Producers (AMPTP) they might not have otherwise attained:

1) residual payments for shows streamed over the Internet and some union jurisdiction for programming created for the Web. Studios had originally opposed writers' demands for new-media residuals, proposing a multiyear study instead.

2) Writers will get a piece of the action as TV moves into the Internet and platforms for new media developments instead of being completely shut out of the revenue from the future of content creation and delivery.

3) Writers will get pay for shows that are streamed on advertising-supported websites.It is not being reported how much of a piece but we doubt it is anywhere near what the writers wanted. We hope it will be enough to recover the almost $800 million lost by the writers and production crews during the 3 month strike (Nov 5, 2007-Feb 25, 2008).

Where the new contract failed:

1) Writers received guarantees that any guild member hired to create original shows for the Web would be covered under a union contract, but studios can hire nonunion writers to work on low-budget Internet shows, giving them the flexibility they sought to compete in the burgeoning world of Web entertainment.

2) Writers did not shorten the 17-to-24-day window that studios have to stream their shows for promotional purposes without paying residuals. Most viewers watch repeats online within days after a program was initially broadcast.

The monetary losses during the 3 month strike appear to be relative. The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., estimates the walkout cost the local economy more than $3 billion:

1) $772 million came from lost wages for writers and production workers,
2) $981 million from various businesses that service the industry, including caterers and equipment rental houses, and
3) $1.3 billion from the ripple effect of consumers not spending as much at retail shops, restaurants and car dealers.

The total is relatively small because the L.A. economy generates $1.3 billion a day. The entertainment industry employs about 250,000 in the L.A. region, including thousands who are self-employed.
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Monday, February 11, 2008

African American Supracranial Vaporous Emission

Or Steaming Black-Guy Heads. If you are offended by this for any reason we apologize in advance because we think it is hilarious: (More)
Steaming black-guy heads, the traditional sign of approaching winter for generations of football fans, have been occurring later in the season with every passing year, a fact that may be evidence of a climatic change with long-term effects on football itself, top scientists in the meteorological department of the National Football League said in a study released Monday.
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Saturday, February 09, 2008

WGA Meets Today On Terms of Surrender

The three month Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike has been a complete failure because the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), the bargaining arm of the studios, walked away and never came back. Now the WGA negotiating committee is meeting in L.A. and New York today to draw up its terms of surrender. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA), whose leadership has already crafted a deal that is now out for a ratification vote, are ready to get back to work. The AMPTP will probably accept the DGA deal, which puts even more pressure on the WGA to draw up an agreement that the AMPTP can't reject (get nothing but make it sound good). We suspect the WGA membership will accept anything at this point. And if the actors can't 'strut their stuff' at the Academy Awards, that will be the last straw with that ally.

The WGA East meeting is at 2 p.m. EST at a Manhattan hotel, eight hours before the WGA West meeting at 7 p.m. PST at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. The WGA negotiating committee will vote to recommend a contract to members. If the negotiating committee approves the agreement and members don't reject it, the WGAW board and WGAE council could vote on the pact by the end of the weekend. Under the WGA constitution, the board and council can halt a strike without a membership ratification vote. (Wash Post)
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

50th Annual Grammy Awards

The 50th Annual Grammy Awards will air live on Sunday, February 10 on CBS at 8 p.m. from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Alicia Keys will perform. She is always great. There will be a 25th Anniversary Tribute to Michael Jackson's "Thriller.' Morris Day and the Time will join the 19-year-old Barbadian superstar Rihanna for what could be a memorable performance. That should be very interesting. Wonder if Jesse Johnson will show. Janet Jackson will perform her new single, Feedback. Beyonce will join singing legend Tina Turner for a duet. Amy Winehouse has been booked to perform. There will be a duet by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige.

KANYE WEST has the most nomination with eight, including Album of the Year for his best-selling disc, "Graduation." Rihanna is up for a number of awards, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year for her hit “Umbrella”. Morris Day is now 50 and his most famous bandmates, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, moved on to producing careers long ago. Jesse Johnson had a successful solo career, gained weight and disappeared.

The Writers Guild of America West granted an interim agreement for the 50th annual Grammy Awards, letting the Feb. 10 telecast proceed with WGA writers. The guild endorsement also allows Screen Actors Guild (SGA) members--who were expected to show solidarity with the writers by skipping the ceremony--to attend. Established in 1957, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., also known as The Recording Academy, is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers.
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Will.i.am Political Music Video For Barack Obama Rolls

Black Eyed Peas rapper Will.i.am, center below, took Senator Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" and turned it into a chorus hook and music video. The footage of Obama is from his New Hamphire concession speech. Will.i.am recruited 40 actors, celebrities and athletes to verbalize and sing Obama's phrases for the video, including John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Scarlett Johansson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kate Walsh, Aisha Tyler, Amber Valletta, Taryn Manning, Nicole Scherzinger, Common, Adam Rodriguez, Alfonso Ribeiro, Austin Nichols, Ed Kowalczyk, Eric Balfour, Esthero, Harold Perrineau, Johnathon Schaech, Kelly Hu, Maya Rubin, Tatyana Ali, Tracee Ellis Rossand and Nick Cannon, among others. Will.i.am's video was directed by Bob Dylan's eldest son Jesse Dylan and did not involve the Obama campaign.

YouTube "Yes We Can"

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Chris Foster Heads Burson-Marsteller's Healthcare Practice

Chris Foster, left, has been appointed to head Burson-Marsteller's U.S. Healthcare Practice, a global public relations firm in the District. Foster, 37, who had been leading the practice on an interim basis since November 2007, brings a far-ranging breadth of experience to his new role, combining broad knowledge of managed care, healthcare provider groups, alliance development, and social marketing. He has worked with a variety of pharmaceutical and corporate clients, including Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Amgen, and Premier. A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Foster earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia, and a master's degree in applied behavior counseling from Johns Hopkins University.

With more than 15 years of public relations and pharmaceutical marketing experience, Foster has pioneered some of the healthcare industry’s most successful campaigns. As U.S. Chair, he will play a significant role in defining new opportunities and growing the market for the Practice. Based in Washington D.C., Foster will report to Patrick Ford, Burson's U.S. President & CEO. Foster currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association (Greater Washington Region) and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Virginia. Foster has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University (School of Continuing Studies) and Western Kentucky University.

Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and public affairs firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising, and web-related services. The firm’s worldwide network consists of 57 wholly-owned offices and 46 affiliate offices, together operating in 59 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s leading communications services networks. (Burson Press Release)
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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Q & A For Oprah's New Television Network

Specific new programming elements for the "Oprah Winfrey Network" (OWN) are still in development. How will the launch of OWN affect programming on Discovery Health Channel?OWN’s mission is to create multiple platforms for women, men and their families with a purpose and a passion: to celebrate life, to inspire and entertain, empowering viewers around the world to live their best lives, and by doing so, lift the lives of those around them in ever-widening circles.

How can I submit my resume OWN?

Resumes and cover letters may be sent to:
The Oprah Winfrey Network
9150 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite #240
Beverly Hills, CA 90069

Where will the headquarters be for the OWN?
The headquarters for this new enterprise has not been determined at this time. We encourage you to visit Oprah.com periodically for more information.

Will the OWN be broadcasted in other countries outside of the United States?

The Oprah Winfrey Network will begin broadcasting in the second half of 2009 in the U.S. only.
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