Ellen, Anne: ‘We have a long way to go’

GOOD MORNING: This reaction from “the DeGeneres family, Anne (Heche), Ellen and Betty (Ellen’s mom)” on the passage of California Prop. 22, limiting legal California marriage to a man and woman: “We’re gratified to know that almost 40% of California voters could see this as an unnecessary, mean-spirited piece of legislation that it is. Using the other votes as a sign post, we have a long way to go on the road to fairness.” I have asked Ellen and Anne to get back to me NOW on their plans to marry. With 100% of the vote in, the “Yes” vote to limit marriages was 4,160,706 and the “No” vote was 2,617,838. Coincidentally, HBO on Wednesday night again aired its “If These Walls Could Talk 2.” Its initial story, “1961” (starring Vanessa Redgrave and Marian Seldes, directed-scripted by Jane Anderson) poignantly points out the tragic loss incurred by a survivor of a long, loving relationship between two human beings — who both happen to be women. In the third seg, written and directed by Heche, her real-life “family” member DeGeneres and Sharon Stone play a couple trying to have a baby and seek an appropriate dad donor via the Internet. “Walls” airs again March 13, 16, 21 and 25 … But truly celebrating this week’s vote are Rob Reiner and all supporters who helped defeat Prop. 28, which would have repealed the original Prop 10 (which won a surtax on tobacco whose funds are being used for children’s education, etc.) Reiner reminds that tobacco companies spent $30 million in its original campaign. And he points out the insurance companies spent $70 million in this California election to successfully bamboozle the public to defeat Props 30 and 31 — again proving whatta powerful tool TV commercials are.

THE MAIL’S ON US: The Postal Service told the Academy there’ll be no charge for the second mailing of Oscar ballots. They also offered to pay for the extra costs in getting out the second batch, printing, etc. The Acad isn’t sure it will accept this offer. Academy members getting their legit ballot Wednesday found a second letter enclosed. The first explained proper ballot use; the second letter, from president Bob Rehme, started with the word “also.” It cautioned voters “against sharing our voting information with the press” and reminded, “if just a few hundred of us were inveigled into participating (in the Wall Street Journal’s plotted polling of Acad members), the Journal stands a good chance of scooping us before Oscar night” … While the Oscars will not have any dance numbers in this year’s show, the Deauville Festival (dedicated strictly to American films) will this year have as its theme “Hollywood Musicals.” Ruda Dauphin arrives Saturday to set some of the star of Hollywood’s halcyon musical days for the Sept. 1-10 France festival … Paul Brownstein is readying the DVD release of “CBS Salutes Lucy: The First 25 Years,” a 1976 special produced by Gary Morton. Brownstein is also representing the March 18 airing on TV Land of “The Adoption,” an episode of “Jackie Gleason’s American Scene Magazine,” an hour musical “Honeymooners” with Gleason, Art Carney and Audrey Meadows. It hasn’t been seen since 1965!

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, MELANIE GRIFFITH, Ted Danson, Edward James Olmos, Ed Begley Jr., Donna Mills, James Taylor, the Beach Boys, Carole King, Kenny Loggins and many more — on the Mall in Washington, April 22. It’s the main event of the 30th anni of Earth Day. DiCaprio is chairman of the D.C. event. He has also taped a number of radio PSA’s and Jane Fonda has taped a special on global warming that will air on CNN on that day. Amazon.com will sponsor an online auction to benefit Earth Day 2000, on which people will be able to bid (April 1-22) on everything from celeb items to eco-friendly gadgets to eco-tours and trips. More than 170 countries will participate, with more than 4,000 events focusing on the problem of global warming and the benefits of clean energy. Time mag will publish a special, stand-alone issue for the entire month of April … The Variety Boys and Girls Club holds its Golden Anni Awards March 21 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City, celebrating 50 years of service to underprivileged children and youth (7-17) and honoring its founders: Variety — the Children’s Charity of Southern Calif. Tent 25 … The SHARE ladies presented checks totaling $1 million to 21 charities serving the needs of women and children. The 48th annual Boomtown party will be held May 13 at CBS Radford Studios in Studio City, with Cath Silvers and Patricia Bosley producing the show. The Women’s Intl. Center presents its Living Legacy Award to Elfi von Dassanowsky, Saturday at the San Diego Marriott. She rejected offers of stardom from both the Nazis and Soviets and helped rebuild a democratic film and arts industry in Austria. She worked in Hollywood with Otto Preminger and currently heads her own Belvedere Films … Don Rickles and Regis Philbin, SRO on their Florida tour (six cities, six nights), are paged for many more dates around the country. Rickles, who closes the show, intro’s Reege (via offstage mike) with: “Is Regis a prune, a dog, an olive tree or –? And now you’re gonna see him for cheap money — Regis Philbin!” Next week, Reege continues taping five “Millionaire” shows a week; only three are skedded to air weekly, but — ?

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