Mary Hart, porn, and more made news this week

More Plain Than Jane
In her new exercise video, Fit & Firm, Entertainment Tonight‘s Mary Hart carries on a star-as-fitness-instructor tradition: stretching and flexing for almost an hour without breaking a sweat. ”We had huge fans blowing on us while we were taping,” explains Hart. ”If you’re drenched in sweat, it’s not going to look very appealing. But you have to make that decision about how realistic you’re going to be. I remember looking at Jane Fonda and thinking, ‘She’s so perfect, how can I get there?’ It was frustrating.” Hart says Fonda’s tapes ”are more of a fashion show for leotards,” so she opted to wear a simple pink number. ”I’m not one of those super-glamorous women of Hollywood,” insists Hart. ”I want to inspire people, not discourage them.”

The Battle of Algona
Last April, a patron of the Algona, Iowa, public library complained loudly when his 12-year-old daughter checked out the R-rated drama Coming Home, so the library board closed down the whole video section. When 600 citizens of Algona (pop. 6,289) signed a petition to have the collection reinstated, the board obliged, but said only adults could check out videos — no matter what the rating. Algona isn’t alone. ”We’re dealing with a medium that’s new to libraries,” says Gordon Conable, chairman of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, which strongly discourages discrimination on the basis of age. ”Most libraries are adopting more rigid rental policies for videos than books.” And Claudia Warner, codirector of the Algona library, insists: ”What kids check out is up to their parents .We’re not finished with this one yet.”

Star Billings
Arnold Schwarzenegger and top porn-video star Joey Stefano both owe their fortunes to fine-tuned physiques, but while Arnold is getting a reported $11 million plus for his stint in Total Recall, Stefano gets only $3,000 tops per movie. Paul Fishbein, publisher of Adult Video News, says lesser-known adult-video actors get $200-$300 a day for a video; actresses get $300-$1,000. Does porn have advantages? Well, Stefano is able to do more movies than Arnold because each one takes only a couple of days to make, though he doesn’t always ask for billing on the tape’s box. ”You can get overexposed,” he says.