The apology from DreamWorks and Paramount to Berry Gordy about “DreamGirls” should have come long before Wednesday–the day after voting had closed on the Oscar nominees. Gordy’s feelings were revealed here Dec.3, 2006. I had spoken with him the night before in Washington at the State Department after a dinner where Kennedy Center Honorees were given their medals, DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg among them. Gordy paid tribute to one of the honorees, Smokey Robinson, his friend of 50 years.
I asked Gordy if he had seen “Dreamgirls.” He said he had, and he was not pleased with it because “the villain in the piece is supposed to be me. I never had anything to do with the Mafia, it was about integrity.” Smokey Robinson had since joined the complaint. Berry issued a statement praising DreamWorks and Paramount’s “apology” and he now well-wishes them on their Oscar nominations.
I didn’t receive that same warmth from him when we last talked. I phoned him again today-but he was enjoying his second favorite pastime-he’s playing golf in the Frank Sinatra tourney in Palm Springs.
Tuning In Oscar Afar
One of Oscar’s favorite hosts, Billy Crystal, will be watching the show-Monday, noon in Melbourne. He bowed his “700 Sundays” one-man show there this week and plays Down Under thru March 4. Billy won a Tony for this legit outing. He returns to the bigscreen with “Have a Nice Day” in development at New Line.
Add global Oscar viewing: Stefanie Powers will see the show in India. She’s arrives at Mumbai for Tuesday’s Global Symposium on The Survival of the Asiatic Lion for The Vanishing Herds Foundation Conference. Her appearance is based on her first hand experience as a founder and president of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation. She’s also just wound the new season of BBC-TV’s “Through The Keyhole,” a production of David Frost’s Paradine Prdns.
Oscar winner (“Love Story” director) Arthur Hiller has been awarded the Order of Canada. It’s the “Centerpiece of the Canadian Honor System. It recognizes “A lifetime of achievement and merit of the highest degree-especially in service to Canada. Hiller, 83 was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and has returned there twice a year to conduct seminars and workshops at the Victoria School for the Performing Arts. In addition to winning his directing Oscar, Hiller was also awarded the Academy’s Jean Heresholt Humanitarian Award.