Oprah Settles Suit Over Photos

   Last month we reported on the lawsuit brought by two freelance photographers against Oprah Winfrey. The two men claimed she used photographs they took of her in a book without their permission.
   Apparently sensing that things weren't going well for her,Winfrey settled for an undisclosed amount during the jury trial's second day of testimony.


Fox Nets "Klumps" and Squirrel for TV Audience

   The Fox Network has bought the exclusive broadcast rights to Universal's "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps,'' that includes four runs over a 3-1/2-year period starting May 2003.
   The deal also landed Fox two runs over three years of ``The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.''
   But before Fox gets them, the movies will air next summer on Starz! as part of a pay TV deal.


Money Rules The Oscars – So What Else Is New?

   Sadly, it would appear that money still rules the Academy Awards.
   The only best picture nominees to win Oscars, DreamWorks ' "American Beauty'' and Miramax 's "Cider House Rules" were also the really big spenders when it came to Oscar promotion this year.
   We wondered how Michael Clarke Duncan's performance in "The Green Mile" could have possible lost out to Michael Caine's in "Cider House Rule." Maybe now we know the real reason – money can always find a way to win over quality.



Jeff Clanagan And New Mandalay Proliance

   Mandalay Proliance, the new urban division of Mandalay Sports and Urban Entertainment, is to be headed by new boss Jeff Clanagan. Clanagan says he plans to focus the company on projects of wide appeal to the urban community.
   In a deal with Trimark Pictures, Mandalay Proliance is scheduled to produce three to five urban films per year. The first Mandalay Proliance film under the Trimark agreement is a prison drama titled "Civil Brand."
   But Clanagan has also signed on to executive produce five films as part of BET1s Arabesque Films, which has many folks wondering if the additional workload might not end up producing poor quality instead of improved focus for urban films that some believe could use a "quality" shot in the arm.


Terrance Howard jailed for in-flight incident

   Actor Terrence Howard from the "Best Man" was released after spending a night in jail for an in-flight incident recently.
   He allegedly grabbed an airline attendant's wrist and yelled at her to get out of his way when she told him to remain in his seat while the plane's seat belt sign was on.
   According to Howard, he was just trying to take his 3-year-old daughter, Heavenly, to the bathroom when the incident occurred.
   It may not have been a big deal to Howard, but the actor could face federal charges as a result of the incident.


Strikes Are A Real Possibility

   While movie production will probably crank on in early 2001, there's a real fear it will grind to a halt come April Fool's Day if the SAG/AFTRA strikes kick in.
   The unforseen resolution in SAG's strike against advertisers has convinced most film producers to hurry up and get their film projects ready to roll. Some production companies have cut the budgets on some films to insure they get their movies done before strike time.
   All this could mean some great opportunities for young actors willing to work but it could could also mean good movies turned to midocracy by hurried schedules. Only time will tell.



Black Creative Design Conference

   The Organization of Black Designers is sponsoring DesigNation3: DesignMinds, an international multidiscipline and multicultural design conference. The event will be held in Los Angeles this October.
   The conference will include panel discussions and seminars on creative design including keynote speaker/costume designer Ruth Carter, who has designed costumes for Spike Lee, Forrest Whitaker, Bill Duke, and John Singleton.
For more info, check out: http://www.designation.net.


More Spike Lee Controversy
Gee, what a surprise!

   Spike Lee's done it again. To help market his upcoming film, "Bamboozled" he's put up an internet site for a fictional film company called Step 'n Fetch It Pictures. The URL is http://www.stepnfetchitpictures.com.
   Be forwarned, the controversial site features racist images fully intended to anger viewers while pitching a lineup of fake TV shows, some complete with blackface characters.


Damon Wayans Wife Seeks Divorce

   After 16 years of marriage, Lisa Wayans has filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences, according to court papers. She is seeking spousal support and joint custody of their four children.
   The couple separated on May 21, and have four children; Damon Wayans, Jr., Michael, and daughters Cara Mia, and Kyla.