Corvette ad not a gas for Guy Ritchie
Is director Guy Ritchie, aka Madonna‘s husband, encouraging devious behavior in children? Safety groups seem to think so–at least when it comes to Ritchie‘s latest endeavor: his innovative Corvette ad General Motors Corp. that has aired regularly over the course of the Summer Olympics. The ad shows a boy in a classroom daydreaming of racing a candy-red Corvette through city streets, at times so heedlessly that it goes airborne, to the tune of the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” But GM is pulling the TV spot after seven safety groups protested the ad could encourage children to take their parents’ cars for a joyride. “This ad is certainly among the most dangerous, anti-safety messages to be aired on national television in recent years,” the safety groups said in a letter to GM released Wednesday. “It is doubtful that General Motors would condone the beer industry showing a ‘dream sequence’ of 10-year-old children having an after-school ‘kegger.'” A spokesman for the automaker said the ad does include a warning that drivers should operate the vehicle safely and must have a license, but GM decided to stop airing the spot anyway. GM is one of the largest TV advertisers during the Summer Games, with the company spending 10 times more during the Aug. 13-29 Olympics than it typically spends during a similar period, The Associated Press reports.
Dave Matthews Band may face criminal charges
Along with being sued by the state of Illinois, authorities were also considering bringing criminal charges Wednesday against the Dave Matthews Band and one of its tour bus drivers for allegedly dumping human waste from a bus into the Chicago River, dousing a tour boat filled with passengers, AP reports. Chicago police said surveillance footage from nearby buildings shows a bus crossing the grated bridge Aug. 8 as the tour boat passed underneath. The bus driver told police he crossed the bridge around the time of the incident but didn’t admit dumping the waste. The band was waiting to see the video surveillance footage and other evidence before making a judgment, Dave Matthews Band spokesman John Vlautin told AP.
Beenie Man dropped from VMAs
Beenie Man’s homophobic lyrics, which include the line “Queers must be killed,” have cost him an appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards in Miami this weekend. The AP reports MTV pulled the Jamaican dancehall singer from its roster after South Florida gay activists announced plans to protest Saturday’s concert in Miami. A spokeswoman for MTV said the music cabler doesn’t want protests overshadowing the event. Beenie Man, who once defended his lyrics, issued an apology earlier this month for his previous songs. “Certain lyrics and recordings I have made in the past may have caused distress and outrage among people whose identities and lifestyles are different from my own. … I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs,” he said in a statement.
Danny Glover arrested in protest
Actor Danny Glover was arrested Wednesday on the steps of Sudan’s embassy in Washington during a protest against the humanitarian crisis in the country’s Darfur region, Reuters reports. “We want an end to the hostility,” the Lethal Weapon star told a group of protesters before he was led away in handcuffs by the uniformed division of the U.S. Secret Service. The Sudanese Embassy closed Monday after weeks of protests and demonstrations calling for international action to stop violence in Darfur by marauding Arab militias driving African villagers off their land. The United Nations calls Darfur the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 50,000 dead and 1.2 million homeless. The U.S. Congress has declared the attacks genocide. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Secret Service said Glover was charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly.
Drew Carey sues former lawyer
Comedian Drew Carey filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against his former attorney Dennis Ardi for allegedly involving The Drew Carey Show star in a scheme to defraud Ardi’s wife during their bitter divorce, Reuters reports. According to court documents, Ardi asked Carey to sign a statement swearing that he and Ardi did not have a vested interest, known as a “lock-in agreement,” in Carey‘s earnings from the show and that his payments of 5 percent of his earnings to Ardi would stop if he was fired. But Ardi demanded a “lock-in” clause from Carey after the divorce was completed in June of 2002–despite the comedian’s earlier sworn statement, the lawsuit said. The suit also accused Ardi of malpractice for allowing a former law school friend to overcharge Carey for handling a construction defect lawsuit while working for free on Ardi’s divorce. Carey is seeking $4 million in damages.
Spears puts fiancé in her video
Kevin Federline, best known for being Britney Spears‘ fiancé as well as a backup dancer, will be featured in the pop singer’s upcoming music video “My Perogative,” AP reports. The song, one of two new tracks off the pop princess’ upcoming greatest hits CD, is a cover of Bobby Brown’s 1980s hit. Spears‘ mother, Lynne Spears, wrote on the singer’s official Web site that the video is “going to be like none other.” Because of a knee injury sustained during the shooting of another video, Spears‘ mom wrote, “Britney’s knee is unable to do choreography, the video is all about capturing gorgeous close-ups and very subtle movement.”
Roy Horn makes special appearance
Roy Horn made a rare public appearance on the Las Vegas Strip Tuesday, signaling thumbs-up from his wheelchair at a Cuban revue he and partner Siegfried Fischbacher are co-producing, AP reports. Horn returned to Las Vegas last weekend from Denver, where he spent two weeks at a rehabilitation center for stroke and trauma victims. “He stayed for the whole show and loved it,” Dave Kirvin, a spokesman for Siegfried & Roy told AP, adding that Horn met with “Havana Night Club” cast members after the performance.
Feds crack down on copyright piracy
U.S. agents have raided the homes of five people in Texas, New York and Wisconsin who allegedly traded hundreds of thousands of songs, movies and other copyrighted material over the Internet, Attorney General John Ashcroft told Reuters. The raids marked a sharp escalation of the years-long legal battle surrounding unauthorized copying over peer-to-peer, or P2P, networks, targeting operating “hubs” in a file-sharing network based on Direct Connect software. “P2P does not stand for ‘permission to pilfer,”‘ Ashcroft said. Among the files offered on the network were the movies Kill Bill, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Last Samurai, according to an affidavit filed in connection with one of the search warrants, AP reports.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.