Authorities halt taping after fisticuffs

PASADENA — Next week’s scheduled UPN broadcast of the Source Hip Hop Music Awards is in doubt after police were forced to halt taping of the annual awards show last night.

Tuesday’s taping was cancelled after police broke up a fight backstage in the hall of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, witnesses said.

Witnesses said that police had to ask people to leave the auditorium about an hour into the taping after scenery on the stage began to sway because of the backstage altercation. The show was being taped to be broadcast on UPN on Aug. 29.

The melee backstage took place just after a fight in the auditorium in which a group of men appeared to badly beat a man before police broke it up, witnesses said.

The audience left in an orderly fashion, one witness said. UPN issued a statement late Tuesday expressing regret that the ‘actions of a few’ disrupted the evening’s festivities. A UPN spokesman said the network is ‘reviewing’ whether or not the awards will be broadcast in any shape.

A separate, pre-written press release issued after the show ended said Dr. Dre received five awards, including a lifetime achievement honor, while his protege, Eminem, took home two. About a half-dozen awards were presented, and female rapper L’il Kim had just finished performing before the pandemonium erupted.

Last year’s broadcast of The Source awards was a major ratings success for UPN.

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