Variety’s Mark Schilling reports from Tokyo that the massive earthquake and tsunami has obviously disrupted the industry there.
“Distrib Shochiku said that it is considering delaying or canceling the skedded March 26 opening of the Chinese earthquake pic “Aftershock,” based on an actual quake that struck China in 1976. The company had earlier said it was going ahead with the release despite the Feb. 23 New Zealand quake.”
Many of the U.S. networks are short-staffed in Japan, and have been relying on either the feeds of networks there, like NHK, or on user-generated social media video. In Los Angeles, several news stations have sent reporters to stake out vantage points along the coast, although so far waves have been minimal.
Update: Hundreds are feared dead in the disaster. One person is feared dead in Crescent City, Calif., where the tsumani waves destroyed much of the harbor.
Production on the latest “Twilight” sequel stopped as the cast and crew were evacuated from the Vancouver Island set.
BET Exec Appointed: President Obama named Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, to the President’s Management Advisory Board, joining a slew of other execs from industry. The White House noted tha Lee “has led the company’s successful reinvigorated brand and programming strategy resulting in consistent increases in viewershipand revenue.”
More Threats to NPR: While NPR’s former and current news staffers express dismay at the management in light of the revelation of secretly recorded videos and emails, a key House Republican lawmaker has added his voice to the chorus calling for cuts, although his words were a bit more measured than other conservatives. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon), who chairs the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, tells Politico, “I think there’s a role for public broadcasting. The question is how much should taxpayers support it. And if there’s this attitude inside the organization that would appear to be as partisan as what’s come out, there’s going to be a consequence. That’s a reality. It’s political. You’re getting taxpayer money and taxpayers are asking, ‘Are we really funding that?’ It’s hard to defend.'”
Griffin vs. Palin: Over the weekend Sarah Palin called Kathy Griffin a “50-year-old adult bully” for comments she made about her children. Set to open a Broadway show this weekend, Griffin has capitalized on the attack in a wave of media appearances this week, but got a little more serious in an interview on “Nightline” on Thursday.
“To throw that word around — when I do my work with the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community, I’m talking about the guy from Rutgers. I’m talking about the real stuff. She’s playing a different game.” (Los Angeles Times)
Quotable: “I think I’ll just grit my teeth and bear whatever comes what may with that movie …I would ask, though, that — if they’re of the mind of spreading the wealth around — that perhaps they want to spring for one of my kid’s braces or something as they capitalize on pretending to be me.” Sarah Palin, asked on Fox News about plans for Julianne Moore to portray her in HBO’s adaptation of “Game Chnage.”