News Roundup: Nov. 9

Top Stories

Robbie Williams won best male singer at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday, Reuters reports. The British singer, who won the best song award last year, gave a bleak acceptance speech, saying his earlier claim to be “living the dream” turned out to be wrong. “I’m very humbled to receive an award from MTV once again. Last year I was very arrogant with my acceptance speech,” he said. “This year it’s completely different.” He closed his address by saying, “Live the nightmare.”

Also at the MTV Europe Music Awards, virtual band Gorillaz, who picked up the best song award for “Clint Eastwood,” spoke out about the current bombing in Afghanistan. According to Reuters, lead singer Damon Albarn sported a CND T-shirt and told the crowd, “This is the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Bombing the poorest countries in the world is wrong.”

Members of the British band Depeche Mode said that the Sept. 11 hijack attacks had hardly affected European musicians and concertgoers, Reuters reports. The group’s keyboardist Andy Fletcher said that because Europeans had had more experience with terror attacks than the United States, they were able to get on with their lives more quickly. “It’s not to say the attacks are not awful,” he said. “But we are more used to it in Europe.”

In Courts

Recording companies and musicians reached an agreement Wednesday to pay artists’ royalties from cable, satellite, and Internet broadcasts directly to the artists rather than to the recording companies, Reuters reports. The agreement means artists and copyright holders will be able to collect money, rather than have their record labels collect for distribution.

A superior court judge has ruled that Lisa Agbalaya’s lawsuit accusing James Brown and his company of sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation could proceed to trial, The Associated Press reports. The judge, however, dismissed one section of Agbalaya’s lawsuit that accused the 68-year-old singer of discriminating against all female employees.

In General

A series of TV commercials aimed at boosting New York City’s tourism were previewed at City Hall Thursday. One ad features Woody Allen ice skating at Rockefeller Center, Barbara Walters auditioning for a Broadway show and Henry Kissinger sliding into home plate at Yankee Stadium wearing a suit and tie. Other ads feature Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro and Yogi Berra, AP reports.

HBO is in talks with documentarian Peter Kuhnhardt to make a film about New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and how he and his City Hall team handled the Sept. 11 crisis, Variety reports. The film will help raise money for the Twin Towers Fund, formed by Giuliani.

Mark Wahlberg and Hugh Jackman may be starring in Intermedia Films’ Pride and Glory, Variety reports. The project centers on a three-generation family of New York City cops torn apart by revelations of a corruption scandal.

Nicole Kidman is in negotiations to star in Revolution Studios’ The Forgotten. According to Variety, the project follows a man and a woman in their 30s who join forces to search for answers to the unsolved abduction of children.

Ben Stiller and his Red Hour Films banner have signed a three-year first-look deal with DreamWorks. DreamWorks reportedly paid $2.6 million to Warner Bros. for Stiller‘s next project, an adaptation of Budd Schulberg’s novel What Makes Sammy Run. Stiller will direct the film and star as hustler Sammy Glick.

In an interview published on Thursday in TV Guide, Michael Jackson said he will build a computer school on the grounds of his Neverland estate so his children, Prince, 4, and Paris, 3, won’t have to go “into society.” Jackson also plans on making a movie with Liza Minnelli about two struggling entertainers trying to make it, Reuters reports.

Fox’s new drama 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland failed to beat out ABC’s cop drama NYPD Blue in the Tuesday night battle for ratings, Variety reports. While 24 posted decently, a November sweeps premiere opposite NYPD Blue and NBC’s Frasier proved too tall an order. Network execs admitted to being surprised that more viewers did not sample the new show.