Entertainment remains on hold after terrorist attacks
SHUT DOWN Most entertainment operations in New York were still shut down yesterday. Broadway stages remain dark and will remain so indefinitely. The usually crowded public spaces where ”Today”, ”Good Morning America,” ”The Early Show” and ”Total Request Live” are shot were empty of tourists. Fashion Week, with some 41 designer shows still to go in Bryant Park, was postponed until the end of October. Concerts by O-Town and Lil’ Romeo were canceled. A few movie theaters were open. All businesses below 14th Street were closed, including the offices of such film distributors as Miramax, Good Machine, and Artisan. Venues preparing for the planned influx of alt-rock bands at this weekend’s CMJ Music Marathon put those plans aside, as the festival has now been postponed a month. TV production shut down on series shot in the metropolitan area, including ”The Job” and ”Third Watch,” the show about Lower Manhattan emergency workers, whose staff lent its generators and other equipment to the real-life rescue teams at the disaster site.
IN DOUBT Art-imitating-life issues continue to plague entertainment release schedules, as executives try to figure out what to do about upcoming TV shows and movies that unwittingly echo Tuesday’s events. In addition to previously announced cancellations and postponements, Warner Bros. has indefinitely delayed the release of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s ”Collateral Damage,” a thriller about a terrorist attack on a skyscraper that was to have been released October 5, and the studio has shut down the film’s website. Even the romantic comedy ”Sidewalks of New York” has been delayed at least two months from its September 21 release, since Paramount Classics felt it inappropriate at this time to release a light comedy set in Manhattan.
Questions remain about such upcoming films as Ben Stiller‘s ”Zoolander,” a comedy about a male model who uncovers an assassination plot; ”Serendipity,” another Manhattan-set romance, and ”The Last Castle,” about a prison riot led by a jailed general. Bombing and terrorism figure prominently in the plots of three new TV series about CIA agents. Promotions have been yanked for the Ocotber 30 debut of ”24,” which features the bombing of a Los Angeles-bound jetliner. The first episode of ”The Agency” contains a reference to terror suspect Osama bin Laden, and the lavish Washington party for its premiere next week has been canceled. A five-hour ”Law & Order” miniseries planned for later this season, which would deal with a terrorist act in New York, is also up in the air. Then there’s next summer’s action blockbusters, including ”Spider-Man,” whose trailer and posters have already been pulled because they prominently feature the World Trade Center’s twin towers, and ”The Sum of All Fears,” the Tom Clancy adaptation that has terrorists rigging a nuclear bomb to blow up a crowded football stadium.
Even video games and music have been affected. Electronic Arts has suspended play on its conspiracy-themed online game Majestic. Anti-capitalist hip-hop band The Coup has scrapped artwork for its November release ”Party Music,” since it showed the World Trade Center exploding, with band member Raymond ”Boots” Riley holding a detonator. Rock band Dream Theater released ”Live Scenes from NY” on Tuesday, the day of the disaster, that depicted a burning World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty atop an apple encircled by barbed wire. EastWest records is considering withdrawing the album.