News Roundup, Oct. 25: Apologies Demanded for “Barbershop”


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A group of real-life barbers from the National Association of Cosmetologists, led by Chief Executive James Stern, are asking the Rev. Jesse Jackson to apologize for demanding an apology from the filmmakers of Barbershop. Jackson made it known last month that he and several black leaders were offended by some of the off-color jokes made by a character (played by Cedric the Entertainer) about civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. and asked for an apology, which the filmmakers provided. After viewing the film themselves and finding nothing offensive about it, Stern told Reuters he and his group feel Jackson’s remarks have hurt the creativity of black filmmakers, as well as their own businesses. “Reverend Jackson did not consider the future of black filmmakers,” Stern said to Reuters. He also said that if Jackson did not apologize himself, his group would sue for defamation of character.


The late George Harrison will be honored by the British Independent Film Awards for his work as an independent producer. The former Beatle, who died last year at 58, financed a string of low-budget hits including Time Bandits and Withnail and I. The awards will be handed out in London Oct. 30.

Actor Scott Plank, known for his roles on several TV series including Baywatch Hawaii, Melrose Place and Walker, Texas Ranger, died of apparent natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 42. An autopsy is pending.


Killer Films, the New York-based production company known for such edgy releases such as Boys Don’t Cry and One Hour Photo, will tackle children’s literature in its next project. Killer Films, under the new banner of Sunshine Films, is developing an adaptation of All-of-a-Kind Family, based on a series of young-adult novels by Sydney Taylor that follows a family of five sisters growing up in an Orthodox Jewish household at the turn of the century.


Actors Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama of the TV series That ’70s Show have signed lucrative deals with Fox which will keep them groovin’ on the show through May 2005. The other two key members of the ’70s ensemble–Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher–are negotiating separate deals with the studios, Variety reports.

A veteran writer for the WB sitcom Reba has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the network. Gary H. Miller, 54, whose past credits include Laverne & Shirley, Bosom Buddies and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, says he was passed up for a promotion and eventually fired because he was told the network was looking for “greener writers,” Reuters reports.

Oh boy! Get ready for round two of The Anna Nicole Show as E! Entertainment Television announced they are renewing the reality series for a second season. The current season–which follows the exploits of the former Playboy Playmate and her lawyer, Howard K. Stern; teenage son, Daniel; assistant, Kim; and her dog, Sugarpie–wraps up Nov. 3.


Latin sensation Shakira topped the first-ever MTV Video Music Awards for Latin America Thursday, taking home the prize for female artist, pop artist, artist from the north region, video and artist of the year. Juanes picked up male artist honors and La Ley won for group or duo and rock artist, while Pink won for international pop artist and Red Hot Chili Peppers won for international rock artist. The show aired live on MTV2 and will be rebroadcast on MTV.