News Roundup, Dec. 13: Denzel Washington Named Entertainer of the Year

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Entertainment Weekly has named Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington 2002’s top entertainer. Washington won on Oscar this year for his role in the drama Training Day and made his directorial debut with Antwone Fisher, set for release in New York Dec. 19. “Denzel reached new heights in his career this year, artistically, commercially and in a business sense,” said Dave Karger, senior writer and author of the EW cover story. “And it’s not only that he directed his first movie, but it is a fantastic movie … It’s not that he did it, but that he did it in a really accomplished way.” Others on the list include Spider-Man‘s Tobey Maguire, the Osbournes, My Big Fat Greek Wedding‘s Nia Vardalos and American Idol‘s Simon Cowell and Kelly Clarkson.


Techno artist Moby was attacked by two men Thursday evening while signing autographs outside a nightclub in Boston, The Associated Press reports. One of the men punched Moby, whose real name is Richard M. Melville, in the back and of the head and on the right side of his face, breaking his glasses and cutting his face. The two men then sprayed a mace-like substance on Moby, his manager and club security guards before fleeing. Moby states on his Web site that he is not angry about the assault, but is mystified about the motive.

The Fox network issued a statement Thursday denying a New York Post article suggesting that American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson was ineligible to appear on the show, reports. The Post article claims Clarkson had a previous existing recording contract at the time of her audition, which would have violated the reality show’s eligibility rules which states that the contest is closed “if you already have any type of talent representation or a recording contract.”

A Los Angeles judge today ordered accused wife killer Robert Blake to provide answers under oath next month in a wrongful death suit brought by his murdered wife’s children, City News Service reports. Blake will testify at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles, where he has been held since his arrest last April for Bonny Lee Bakley’s shooting death.


Michael Moore‘s Bowling for Columbine was named best documentary of all time by the International Documentary Association, Reuters reports. Bowling for Columbine examines America’s love affair with guns and the pathology of violence in the United States, which as a country, has the highest gun-murder rate in the world.

DreamWorks is replacing 20th Century Fox as a co-financier for Baz Luhrmann‘s epic Alexander the Great. According to Variety, DreamWorks will shoulder an equal share of the budget with Universal in return for international distribution rights to the massive production. Alexander the Great, a panoramic biopic of the Macedonian conqueror, stars Leonardo DiCaprio. Shooting on the project is set to begin in late 2003.

Eight major Hollywood studios are expected to back the Directors Guild of America in a legal suit against companies and stores that rent and sell sanitized versions of their films, Variety reports. In their filings, the studios are expected to ask for a ruling that the editing practices violate their rights as copyright holders and request the court grant an injunction to prevent distribution of the edited videos.


An unidentified American collector paid more than $45,000 for a card containing clues to the plot of the J.K. Rowling‘s fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the AP reports. The money will be used to buy 18,000 books for schools in Africa. Sotheby’s auction house in London revealed that some of the 93 words in the card include: “Ron … broom … sacked … house-elf … new … teacher … dies … sorry.”