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News, April 1: Madonna Withdraws Antiwar Video, WB Pulls "Girl" Poster, Peter Arnett Lands New Job, More...

Apr 01, 2003 | 12:51pm EST

Top Story: Madonna Withdraws Violent Antiwar Video

Madonna has decided to withdraw the antiwar video for her new single "American Life" out of respect for the troops fighting in Iraq, The Associated Press reports. "Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video," the singer said in a statement posted on her Web site Monday. The video, which was filmed before the war started, shows Madonna wearing military garb next to dancers in camouflage on a fashion runway. At one point, a grenade is thrown in the direction of a President Bush look-alike. The video had been scheduled to premiere Friday on VH-l. The single, meanwhile, has just been released to radio.

Grant's Biological Clock Ticking

Hugh Grant tells Vanity Fair magazine he wants to take a break from acting to focus on his personal life because he "hates" acting, despite the wealth that comes along with it. "In fact, I hate it quite a lot," he said. "All acting, but especially movie acting." The About a Boy star also told the magazine that he wants to settle down. "I'm ready, baby. I need to get married and have children," Grant says. But he dismisses the likelihood of rekindling a romance with his ex, actress Elizabeth Hurley. "She's with another guy and, you know, we're good friends," he says. "But no, that train has sailed, as Austin Powers would say."

WB Pulls "Girl" Poster

Warner Bros. Pictures' is changing its print advertisement for the teen comedy What a Girl Wants to avoid making a political statement, the AP reports. The posters originally featured a photograph of star Amanda Bynes wearing an American flag T-shirt and flashing the peace sign with her fingers as she stands between two British royal guards. The new version of the poster features Bynes with her right hand at her side instead, but many of the original posters had already been placed on billboards and buses before the change was made.

Peter Arnett Gets New Job

Reporter Peter Arnett, who was fired by NBC for saying on Iraqi television the U.S.-led war effort had failed, has been hired by Britain's Daily Mirror, the AP reports. The network said it received thousands of e-mails and phone calls protesting his remarks. "I am still in shock and awe at being fired," Arnett wrote for the newspaper. "I report the truth of what is happening here in Baghdad and will not apologize for it." Arnett won a Pulitzer Prize for his work as an AP reporter during the Vietnam War and gained much of his prominence from covering the 1991 Gulf War for CNN.

BET Scores in January Ratings

Following a major programming overhaul, Black Entertainment Television has seen double-digit increases in advertising and subscribers--now at 74 million households, the AP reports. In January, BET netted its highest ever primetime ratings. The network recently canceled three highly regarded public affairs shows--Lead Story, Teen Summit and BET Tonight With Ed Gordon--in an effort to cut costs and make room for more entertainment programming. Its new programs include reruns of UPN's The Parkers and Girlfriends and Showtime's Soul Food.

Role Call: Hudson in "Skeleton," Pfeiffer Returns to Comedy

Kate Hudson is in preliminary negotiations to star in Universal Pictures' Skeleton Key for director Iain Softley. The project, described as The Ring meets The Sixth Sense, is scheduled to begin production this fall ... Michelle Pfeiffer is making a return to comedy. The actress is attached to star in She's Gone, described as a sophisticated romantic comedy about a couple whose marriage is at a crossroads. There is no director yet on board the project ... David Duchovny will star opposite Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette in the female buddy comedy Connie and Carla for director Michael Lembeck. The laffer revolves around two female dinner theater singers who are forced to go undercover in Los Angeles as drag queens.

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