Gibson deems stem cell research unethical
Actor Mel Gibson appeared on Good Morning America this morning to discuss his concern about ballot measure Proposition 71, which promotes embryonic stem cell research, the AP reports. If Proposition 71 is supported at the polls, $3 billion of state bonds would be sold for use in this controversial research method. Gibson said that his concern with using embryos to do research is an ethical decision he has made, based on his Roman Catholic religion. Recently California state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his support for the ballot measure to President Bush, who is against the research. Gibson called the governor yesterday to discuss the ballot measure, but is still waiting for a call back. Gibson admits that at first he was happy about the measure, but once all of the information was revealed, he changed his mind. “I found that the cloning of human embryos will be used in the process and that, for me, I have an ethical problem with that,” said Gibson. Gibson is no stranger to publicly stating his religious beliefs. His film, The Passion of the Christ got international attention; some felt the film was moving, while others thought that Gibson’s depiction of Christ’s crucifixion went too far.
Lindsay Lohan released from hospital
Actress Lindsay Lohan was released from the hospital today after six days of bed rest, the AP reports. Lohan was checked into the Los Angeles county hospital on Thursday after she was reportedly suffering from headaches and a high fever. Lohan has a busy schedule ahead of her, though, having postponed a number of jobs until she felt better. This week Lohan will shoot her guest appearance on Fox’s That 70’s Show opposite her boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama, and also has three upcoming films to focus on, in addition to the completion of her first debut album said to hit stores December 7th.
Jolie describes her eye-opening visit to Sudan
Actress Angelina Jolie took a three-day to Sudan’s Darfur region only to come home with a better appreciation for her freedom. “I’d say this is the worst situation I’ve seen and what’s happening to the people here…is unbelievably horrible. The fact is it is just one of the worst things that has happened on the planet to a people,” she told Reuters. As a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, the Tomb Raider star has visited and donated money to many broken countries where violence and abuse are a part of their daily lives. Violence and hatred in Sudan has caused over 1.6 million people to live on the streets, while the U.N. says it is doing everything it can to aid in relief.
Latifah was cut from Monster’s Ball script
Singer turned actress Queen Latifah had been part of the original script for the low-budget 2001 film Monster’s Ball, the AP reports. Halle Berry was chosen to replace Latifah, which won Berry the Oscar Award for Actress of the year in 2002. Berry was the first African American to ever win the Oscar in that category. “I actually had that role before Halle. But they couldn’t set it up,” said Latifah. Latifah was nominated for the best supporting actress Oscar in 2003 for her role in Chicago.
Miramax kicks off screener season with movie mailings
It’s Oscar screener season, and Miramax is getting a head start by sending out DVDs of Kill Bill Vol. 2 to Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters, Variety reports. Since Kill Bill Vol. 2 is already available on video, these discs are not watermarked; however, future mailings for the upcoming films Finding Neverland and The Aviator will be sent out watermarked. Screener floods generally run from Thanksgiving to January, so Miramax is hoping to impress Academy voters before the season begins next month.
Film critic exchanges words with former CEO
Chicago Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert and Conrad Black, former CEO of the Sun’s parent company, exchanged words in a number of letters published yesterday in the paper’s commentary section. The AP reports that the letters included Ebert’s opinion on the unsatisfactory working conditions of the Chicago Sun Times and how the former CEO was squandering company money. Each letter included personal attacks to one another offering up personal salary information of Ebert and other Sun Times employees. Company workers have been threatening to go on strike if the working conditions do not improve. Black was ousted as CEO of Hollinger International Inc. for looting more than $400 million in company money from 1997 to 2003.
Bush voted “top villain” in British magazine
For his role in Michael Moore’s documentary film, Fahrenheit 9/11, President Bush won the honor of this years “top screen villain” on Wednesday, the AP reports. Over 10,000 people voted in the poll conducted by Total Film magazine in London. President Bush beat out the competition, consisting of Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 and creepy Gollum from Lord of the Rings, to name a few. “It is possible that people have been a little bit tongue in cheek here, but they are also saying that Bush was very scary in Fahrenheit 9/11,” said the magazine’s editor, Matt Mueller.
OutKast tops Internet music awards
Hip-Hop duo sensation OutKast took home top honors Wednesday as the Recording Industry Association handed out a total of 45 prizes to various musical artists in their first awards for most Internet-based downloads, Reuters reports. OutKast won a multi-platinum award for getting more than 400,000 downloads of their hit song “Hey Ya,” and two other platinum awards for “The Way You Move” and “Roses”. Rock groups Hoobastank, Maroon 5 and the hip-hop artists of D12 also received platinum awards. Although downloading music still makes up a small portion of total music sales, the recording industry expects the numbers to continue to increase with the popularity of portable recording devices like the Apple iPod. The Recording Industry Association handed out a total of 45 awards to various musical artists.