Hicks: Sacha Baron Cohen may be banned from Oscars
Apparently the no-fun bunch at the Oscars won’t let Sacha Baron Cohen dress up as a fictionalized brutally oppressive, yet fun-loving Middle Eastern dictator who randomly kills his subjects and sleeps with Megan Fox, to promote his upcoming movie.
What’s next — no Hitler costumes?
Rumors flew Wednesday that the Academy had yanked Cohen’s Oscar tickets over fears he would dress up as his character in “The Dictator” for Sunday’s Academy Awards show.
“We haven’t banned him,” an academy spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re just waiting to hear what he’s going to do.”
Still, the academy is making it clear that Cohen is not welcome to use the red carpet as a platform for a promotional stunt for “The Dictator,” and other sources say the threat of booting him is becoming more likely.
The Reporter said the actor, who was invited to attend the Oscars as a cast member of best picture nominee “Hugo,” was planning to arrive at the event dressed as his Dictator character, a crass totalitarian leader hellbent on keeping democracy out of his country.
There’s a 2012 election joke there if you want to make it, then let’s please move on.
The story prompted the academy to ask Cohen’s and Paramount, the studio behind both “Hugo” and “The Dictator,” what Cohen has planned. “We don’t think it’s appropriate,” the academy spokesman said, of the prospect of Cohen plugging his movie. “But his tickets haven’t been
pulled. We’re waiting to hear back.”
A Paramount spokesman declined comment. Cohen’s publicist has not commented publicly.
Cohen has a history of using awards shows and other big events to hype his movies. To help launch the Borat character in 2006, Cohen arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival dressed up as his TV journalist alter ego, riding a wagon pulled by “Kazakhstani peasant women.” At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he came as a gay fashionista to promote “Bruno”.
CHRIS BROWN MAY HAVE ANGER ISSUES: Another day, another story of Chris Brown showing the world why Rihanna just can’t stay away.
The singer was recently accused of robbery, according to CBS Miami. On February 19, Brown and rapper Tyga were leaving Cameo nightclub when a fan named Shanae Spann followed them outside to Brown’s car.
When Brown got into his black Bentley, Spann pulled out her iPhone and snapped a picture of the “Forever” singer. According to Spann, Brown, 23, reached through the car window and grabbed the mobile device from her hands.
“(Expletive), you ain’t going to put that on no website,” Brown said, according to the police report. Brown then rolled up his window and drove away with Spann’s iPhone.
Technically, Chris, using a double negative in the that manner means you’re saying “(Expletive) you’d better put that photograph on your website. Have a great evening!”
I should be a lawyer.
“He has not been arrested (or charged). The state attorney’s office is really handling most of this,” Miami Beach Police Department public information officer Deborah Doty told Us Weekly. “We completed the investigation and turned it over to the state attorney’s office. They will do an investigation and the state attorney will decide if there will be a warrant issued or not.”
America’s tax dollars at work.
As you know, this isn’t the first time Brown has been in trouble with the law. He was sentenced to five years probation for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna before the 2009 Grammy Awards. The exes — who have been rumored to have been hooking up on-and-off for the past year — released two duets, “Birthday Cake” and “Turn Up the Music,” earlier this week.
J.K. ROWLING GOES ADULT: “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is getting into the world of adult literature.
Oh, not like that. Rowling announced Thursday she has signed a publishing deal to write her first novel intended for adults.
So … we’re not supposed to show up at book stores at midnight dressed up like little magicians to buy her books now? This is a bit embarrassing.
As with all of Rowling’s literary works, info is scarce and plot points are being kept under tight wraps. Not even a title or date of publication for the novel have been disclosed, though both will be tantalizingly rolled out later this year.
Rowling has made it clear that while she may be moving on from her kid-friendly subject matter of the past, her ability to do so is down to one (fictional) man boy: Harry Potter himself.
“Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world,” she said, according to E! Online.
So it’s going to be about an adult magician.
“The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.”
Maybe she’ll really spread her wings and write about adult vampires.
‘SEINFELD’ ACTOR ATTEMPTS SUICIDE: Police say an actor who played George Costanza’s boss on “Seinfeld” and also starred on “Malcolm in the Middle” has shot himself in the head at his suburban Cincinnati apartment.
Montgomery police Chief Don Simpson says 61-year-old Daniel von Bargen called 911 on Monday morning after shooting himself in the temple.
Simpson said Thursday that von Bargen told the dispatcher he was supposed to go to a hospital that day to have some toes amputated because of diabetes complications and had already had one leg amputated. He said he was feeling depressed before he shot himself.
Von Bargen appeared on four episodes of “Seinfeld” as Mr. Kruger. He played Commandant Edwin Spangler on “Malcolm in the Middle.”
He was taken to a Cincinnati hospital. His condition wasn’t immediately known Thursday.
ANGELINA TO WRITE FORWARD IN BILLY BOB’S BOOK: Angelina Jolie will provide the forward for ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton’s new book.
Hopefully someone copy edits that … closely.
Jolie, who divorced Thornton in 2003, has written for the upcoming memoir “The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts,” due out May 15.
Jolie isn’t the only famous person who contributed. An image of the cover of Thornton’s book posted on Amazon reads, “Introduction by Angelina Jolie, with commentary by Robert Duvall, Dwight Yoakam and Tom Epperson.”
Geez, talk about milking your famous friends. Is Billy Bob actually contributing anything?
A description of the book posted on the site says “The Billy Bob Tapes” will include “colorful tales of his modest (to say the least) Southern upbringing, his bizarre phobias (komodo dragons?), his life, his loves (including his heartbreakingly brief marriage to fellow Oscar winner Angelina Jolie), and, of course, his movie career.”
Maybe Jolie should copy edit the book too.
Thornton and Jolie remain friendly, he told reporters at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. He also said he was “thrilled” that Jolie decided to direct her first film, “The Land of Blood and Honey,” according to the Ottawa Citizen.
“I thought she did an amazing job,” he said. “She really dug deep and it meant a lot to her. I’m very, very proud of her.” Jolie was also at the Berlin Film Festival where she was given a standing ovation after she screened her directorial debut.
SANTANA NOT LEAVING LAS VEGAS: Guitar legend Carlos Santana plans a two-year headlining gig at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, switching venues from his previous home at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino.
Representatives for the House of Blues say Santana will have a run of shows in May and June, then return in September with the residency running through 2013. Tickets go on sale March 3.
Santana says he’s happy to call the venue home, and plans to honor the diversity and culture that the House of Blues promotes as a company. Part of each ticket sale will go to Santana’s foundation, which supports children’s art, education and health.
FEB. 24 IN HISTORY
February 24 is Friday, the 55th day of 2012. There are 311 days left in the year.
1582: Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull, or edict, outlining his calendar reforms. (The Gregorian Calendar is the calendar in general use today.)
1711: The opera “Rinaldo” by George Frideric Handel premiered in London.
1803: In its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.
1821: Mexican rebels proclaimed the “Plan de Iguala,” their declaration of independence from Spain.
1868: The House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.
1912: The American Jewish women’s organization Hadassah was founded in New York City.
1918: Estonia issued its Declaration of Independence.
1920: The German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, met in Munich to adopt its platform.
1942: The SS Struma, a charter ship attempting to carry Jewish refugees from Romania to Palestine during World War II, was torpedoed and sunk by a Soviet submarine after being towed and abandoned in the Black Sea by Turkish authorities; all but one of the 769 refugees on board perished.
1946: Argentinian men went to the polls to elect Juan D. Peron their president.
1961: The Federal Communications Commission authorized the nation’s first full-scale trial of pay television in Hartford, Conn.
1981: Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
1992: Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain married Hole lead vocalist Courtney Love in Hawaii.
2002: The Salt Lake City Olympics came to a close, the same day Canada won its first hockey gold in 50 years (the U.S. won silver) and three cross-country skiers were thrown out of the games for using a performance-enhancing drug.
2007: A suicide truck bomber struck worshipers leaving a Sunni mosque in Habbaniyah, 50 miles west of Baghdad, killing at least 52 people. The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery. Denver Broncos running back Damien Nash, 24, collapsed and died after a charity basketball game he’d hosted in suburban St. Louis.
2011: Discovery, the world’s most traveled spaceship, thundered into orbit for the final time, heading toward the International Space Station on a journey marking the beginning of the end of the shuttle era.
Actor Abe Vigoda (91), actor Steven Hill (90), actor-singer Dominic Chianese (81), Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., (70), actor Barry Bostwick (67), actor Edward James Olmos (65), singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes (65), rock singer-musician George Thorogood (62), actress Debra Jo Rupp (61), news anchor Paula Zahn (56), country singer Sammy Kershaw (54), singer Michelle Shocked (50), actor Billy Zane (46), actress Bonnie Somerville (38), rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) (29), actor Wilson Bethel (28).
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