Plus, Eminem, Sisqó, Mark Wahlberg, Spike Lee, Motorhead, and more
THE FRAY The mother of Amadou Diallo plans to publicly thank Bruce Springsteen for his new song ”American Skin,” which outraged New York City police when he debuted it in Atlanta last week, reports the New York Post. Cops have been urged to boycott the Boss’ New York concert series beginning tonight at Madison Square Garden, because of references in ”American Skin” to the killing of Diallo, an unarmed suspect shot 19 times by NYPD officers in the vestibule of his building last year. ”He’s turned into some type of f—ing dirtbag,” Bob Lucente, president of the New York chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, told SonicNet. ”He goes on the boycott list.” Springsteen’s publicist could not be reached for comment. The Post says Diallo’s mother might appear at tonight’s show.
SHADY ORDEAL John Guerra, the man Eminem allegedly threatened with a gun last week at the Hot Rocks Cafe, has filed a lawsuit for unspecified damages against the Slim Shady. Guerra has told reporters that he shared a ”rather intimate” kiss with Kimberly Mathers, and that he still fears for his life. Meanwhile, hip hop artist Missy Elliot has come to public defense of Em’s lyrics, which have been decried as homophobic, violent, sexist, and all things un-P.C. ”He’s lyrically dope,” Elliot says in Rolling Stone. ”Parents should know the difference between fantasy and reality.” Maybe the Mathers’ should take lessons in the distinction from American parents.
CASTING Sisqó will make his feature debut in Miramax’s ”Getting Over Allison,” a romance rebound story starring Ben Foster and Kirsten Dunst. The ”Thong Song” singer will even take a few days off of his tour opening for ‘N Sync when filming begins this summer, reports MTV News. ”What I decided to do was more of a dialogue movie first ’cause I wanted to get my credibility as an actor,” he says. Who could question the credibility of such a serious silver-haired gent?… Mark Wahlberg is in negotiations to star in Paramount’s ”Criminal Conversation,” based on the 1994 novel by Evan Hunter in which an English teacher has a fling with a mobster…. ”Ride With the Devil”’s Simon Baker is in negotiations to star opposite Hilary Swank in ”The Affair of the Necklace.”
ARREST Several members of heavy metal band Motorhead were arrested last weekend after a disturbance in the Holiday Inn Downtown, Denver. A spokesperson for the hotel said that the band got lost returning to their room after carousing in the bar until 2 a.m. ”I think they forgot which room they were in.” The band has yet to comment, but one assumes they wish they’d checked their room key.
LEGALESE Warner Music Group and BMG Entertainment have reached a settlement and established licensing agreements with MP3.com. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources say the Internet company will dole out $15 to $20 million to WMG and BMG. It will reportedly pay 1.5 cents for each track in its mymp3.com database, and one-third of a cent each time it is streamed. Only songs published by each label will be allowed in the deal. The cost to the harried digital download service will no doubt rise as it inks out agreements with Sony Music, Seagram Co.’s Universal Music, and EMI. Good thing those labels are getting all the moolah they deserve.
REEL DEALS Spike Lee will create a feature film entitled ”The Original Kings of Comedy” from the popular ”Kings of Comedy” tour, reports Vibe. Warner Brothers will produce and distribute a $25 million animated flick based on the Cartoon Network’s highest rated original series ”The Powerpuff Girls.”
WEBDEALS ZDTV.com has bowed its own version of ”The Gong Show,” an Internet game show in which would be dot-com entrepreneurs trot plans before a panel of venture capitalists for a chance of winning $50,000 for their start-up. Funny, two years ago most websters called that game Life…. Hollywood Entertainment Corp. is expected to announce the closure of Reel.com‘s e-commerce business today, as part of an effort to elevate its negative bottom line…. ”Mission Imp” a Web film spoof of you-know-what debuts today on Time Warner (EW Online’s parent) entertainment site Entertaindom.com. The Hollywood Reporter says TW has struck an unprecedented marketing deal with Winchell’s donuts, which will promote the Web flick via ”Mission Imp” trading cards distributed with its donut holes. A Winchell’s spokesperson said its partnership with WB is part of an effort to revamp its brand perception, and give it a ”contemporary retro” look. True, there’s nothing more contemporary than a retro donut hole.
TV NEWS Networks are picking up pilots for two series pitched by David Letterman‘s Worldwide Pants production company. CBS will save a prime time slot for the sitcom ”Welcome to New York,” while NBC will take on a ”Northern Exposure”-inspired drama ”Ed”…. Actor Anthony LaPaglia has left the upcoming Fox comedy ”Don’t Ask” as part of an effort to revamp the network’s John Goodman vehicle.
SOME THANKS Jessica Lange told Hollywood big wigs where to get off when she picked up a Crystal Award for the annual Women in Film luncheon. Before an audience that included Steven Spielberg and Tommy Lee Jones she said, ”I’d like to point out one of the great things about being 50 in this industry, and that is the absolute concrete assurance that women my age will never be considered for a role in one of these macho, airhead, testosterone action films — for that I am grateful.” Thandie Newton declined to comment.
DINNER Bill Clinton dined last night with Anthony Hopkins, after a quick round of golf. Wonder if the meal included fava beans and a light Chianti.
OBITS Renowned pop art sculptor George Segal died in South Brunswick, N.J., after a long illness. Segal, a luminary in the 1960s New York art world, will be remembered for his life-size plaster casts of everyday people in everyday situations. He was 75…. Painter Jacob Lawrence whose work depicts the struggles of black Americans, died in Seattle. He was 82.