Rap-in-the-pan Artists Don't Make It In Singleton Films

   As we reported last month, John Singleton's follow-up to 'Boyz In The Hood,'' will be titled "Baby Boy."
   Singleton says, "It's going to be the third of my South Central trilogy."
   So far, the director believes he has lined up Snoop, Dre, and Ice Cube to star in the flick.
   He says, "Right now there's no infighting going on in west coast music. So, there's a good chance that I'll be able to cast the people I really want in the film. Now it's possible for me to make a really great South Central film."
   But if you think all you have to do is rap-flashy to get into a Singleton film, think again,
   "Everybody that's a musician that ends up in my films," Singleton explains, "has to go through a rigorous auditioning process. From Ice Cube to Tupac to Busta Rhymes, it has always been that way."

Jamie Foxx Has Advice For Spike Lee.

   While promoting his new movie "Bamboozled," Spike Lee recently told Entertainment Weekly , "Today there are some shows (on television) that could be considered minstrel shows, except that the actors aren't performing in blackface."
   Upon hearing Lee's remarks, comedian Jamie Foxx responded by saying, "With the most respect I can give him, I think he needs to back off a little bit. He's not a comedian, and he doesn't know what we do. He talks about it (rascism) so much that now he's just become the angry black man."

FTC Study Reveals R-rated Flicks Marketed To Kids

   It only took the Federal Trade Commission a one year study, and who knows how much in taxpayer dollars, to tell us taxpayers something we already knew but didn't have the stats to prove. That the majority of best selling movies, music, and video games containing violent themes are aggressively marketed by their owner companies to children younger than 17. One part of the FTC study refers to memos collected from movie studios that clearly show movies rated for those 17 or older have been overtly marketed by studios to kids as young as 12. The results for violent video games and music with explicit lyrics fared no better.
   Vice President Al Gore and Joe Lieberman say that if elected the entertainment business will have six months to voluntarily clean up the problem or the duo will seek regulatory sanctions.
   The Disney company isn't waiting. They say they plan to immediately change the way they market R-rated movies. The company has already decided to stop showing trailers for R-rated films at theaters showing family rated Walt Disney Pictures. Also, Disney president Robert Iger told the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on film marketing that Disney will be calling on the entertainment industry to create a single, unified rating system for music, movies and television.
   The Director's Guild of America responded to the FTC report by saying, "The DGA and its members are pleased that the Federal Trade Commission Report recognizes that the First Amendment requires that creative decisions about content be left to artists and their distributors, and that the FTC's recommendations build on self-regulation, not government intervention. The FTC has recognized that self-regulation can be effective, and we commend the agency for resisting the temptation to call for government intervention. We think it would be both inappropriate and unconstitutional for any government agency to regulate or enforce any potential ratings system through civil penalties, criminal prosecution or other means."
   The DGA also recommended strengthening the industry rating system to more clearly delineate a films intended audience.

Whoopie Goldberg Produces "Ruby's Bucket Of Blood"

   Showtime has okayed "Ruby's Bucket of Blood" to be executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg. Angela Bassett will star in the film about a Louisiana juke joint owner (Bassett) who loses her star singer and hires a white singer to fill in. Bassett will serve as producer and Peter Werner will direct the Julie Herbert script.

More News On The "Moulin Rouge"

   We reported last month that Will Smith might be starring in the New Line film about the true story behind Las Vegas' Moulin Rouge casino. As it turns out, Smith and his partner James Lassiter and their Overbrook Entertainment production company want to co-produce the film along with Ross and Jane Sindell and their Larger Than Life Productions company. Apparently, Smith and Lassiter (Overbrook) brought the project to Ross and Sindell in the first place.
   Michel De Luca, President and COO of New Line Productions said, "It's a coup to be in business with both Will Smith and Gary Ross, and we're thrilled about this partnership."

O.J. Can't Stop Mini-Series

   It seems that lately O. J. Simpson is suing anyone and everyone he can. Just recently he lost a court battle to stop Fox from airing a mini-series called "American Tragedy," based on the Lawrence Schiller book. He felt it violated client-attorney privilege.
   Not winning that suit, O.J. is now suing Schiller and lawyer Robert Kardashian, claiming Kardashian violated attorney-client privilege by providing Schiller information about the strategy of Simpson's lawyers in the first place.

Babyface Makes His Move On The Sports Industry

   As if acting, singing, record and film producing and founding a music web portal weren't enough, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds has joined with North Carolina attorney Ken Harris, to create the Edmonds Sports Group. The company will act as negotiators and representives for NFL and NBA players.

Mariah Carey Insured For $10 Million

   Rumor has it that during filming of "All That Glitters," Mariah Carey will carry $10 million worth of insurance against damage to her beautiful body. Now that's thinking VERY highly of yourself.

Erich Hicks Issued Special Effects 1st Class Pyrotechnic Operator's License

   African-American special effects/stunt coordinator, Erich Hicks, has been issued a Special Effects 1st Class Pyrotechnic Operator's License by the Office of the California State Fire Marshall.
   This is the first time in film and television history that an African American has received such a license. It qualifies Hicks to plan, lead, coordinate and supervise the safety of everything from stunts to major explosions.

Olympic Star Carl Lewis Studying Acting

   Carl Lewis is studying actingwith an eye toward eventual film roles. When comparing acting to athletics, Lewis told Reuters, "It's no different. You have to set goals and just like sports, if you can't handle rejection, it is the wrong business to be in.'' Lewis' efforts make sense when you consider that he also owns an entertainment production company.

Hawaiian Authorities Will Charge Whitney Houston

   We reported back in July that Whitney Houston had refused to seek drug treatment, despite being urged by family to do so. Now, USA Today has reported that Hawaiian authorities will charge the actress/singer with misdemeanor drug charges.
   Apparently an aiport official confiscated Houston's bag last January because it allegedly contained 15.2 grams of marijuana and instead of sticking around to face the music, Houston boarded her flight and left the bag before the police arrived.
   She now has until October 26 to turn herself in or a warrant will be issued for her arrest, but since Hawaii doesn't extradite suspects for petty misdemeanors, Houston will remain free as long as she stays off the island.
   Maybe it's time Whitney listened to her family.

Norm Jewison Mad At Universal Over The Money

   "The Hurricane" may have been a great picture, but it got blasted or ignored by the press when it first came out for being less than true to the real story of Rubin Carter, and there was little noise coming from the studio to combat the claims.
   Director Norm Jewison felt the movie's integrity should have been defended more aggresively, but said Universal wouldn't put any money into deflecting the attacks; a ho-hum attitude that Jewison believes undermined the film's box office potential.
   Jewison recently defended the film's authenticity and took Universal to task in an interview with the Toronto Globe & Mail by saying, "We were held to a higher standard than any film has ever been held ... it was a money decision, an economic decision ... They kept telling me it was so good that it didn't matter we were coming out behind everybody else."

NAACP Supports SAG Strike.

   NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, spoke at the Screen Actors Guild headquarters in Los Angeles recently to announce the organization's support of the SAG strike against advertisers. He pledged the NAACP would "stand in solidarity" with actors and signed an agreement with SAG and the American
   Federation of Television & Radio Artists that covers the ads for the NAACP's Election 2000 Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign. Mfume said the NAACP supports SAG in part because of SAG's past efforts to broaden minority opportunity in the industry.

Hollywood Power In The Hands of A Few

   Inside.com recently conducted an informal Hollywood study of what they determined to be the top 185 film agents and top 103 creative film executives (from directors of development through studio chairs).
   While the study isn't scientifically acceptable, their results are pretty clear at the lack of minority involvement in Hollywood's power structure. Of the film agents, only one was Black (two were Asian and three Hispanic) and of the creative executives, only two were black VPs (no Asians or Hispanics). Check out the full story at www.inside.com.

Spike Lee To Direct Huey P. Newton's Life Story

   Actor Roger Guenveur Smith's one man play about the late Huey P. Newton will soon be a BET movie directed by non other than Spike Lee. BET will produce the telefilm in association with PBS and the African Heritage Network.

Did You Know?

   Jamie Foxx, star of "Bait" and WB's "Jamie Foxx Show" started studying piano at the age of five. He loved singing and music so much, he went to the U.S. International University in San Diego to study classical music.
   Born Eric Bishop, Foxx was adopted at age seven and took the name Jamie Foxx because it was sexually neutral. He noticed early in his standup career that club emcees would call more females to the stage than men. His new name was a way to get on stage – one way or another.

LeVar Burton Wins Literacy Lifetime Achievement Award

   Actor/director LeVar Burton received the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles' Lifetime Achievement Award last month.
   The award was presented by Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman and CEO Meryl Marshall. This was the second annual Literacy in Media awards ceremony held by the Literacy Network of Greater Los Angeles. The organization awarded the prize to recognize Burton's 17 years as host and co-executive producer of the Emmy-award-winning PBS children's television series "Reading Rainbow," which encourages literacy in children.

Oscars Get New Category

   The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has created a new Oscar category for feature-length animated films.
   This is the first new Oscar category since 1981.
   The Academy says the new award will be triggered by the release of eight or more eligible films in a calendar year and the Oscar would be presented to "the key creative talent most clearly responsible for the overall achievement." Which is normally a single individual on behalf of an entire production.