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BBC inquiry begins as sex abuse scandal grows

An inquiry into the BBC’s culture and practices got under way with the broadcaster reeling from allegations of child sex abuse perpetrated by the late Jimmy Savile, one of its biggest stars. The probe begins a year to the day since the death of Savile, the eccentric presenter now considered…

Medical professor sues Johnny Depp over alleged bodyguard assault

LOS ANGELES — A female US academic who claims she was assaulted by Johnny Depp’s security guards while he was present can sue the US star for punitive damages, a judge ruled Monday. Robin Eckert, a medical professor at University of California (UC) Irvine, claims Depp and his guards became…

No third season for Anderson Cooper’s talk show

LOS ANGELES — US journalist and TV presenter Anderson Cooper’s eponymous daytime talk show will not be renewed for a third season, its producers said Monday. Flagging viewer numbers and a tough business climate were blamed for the effective cancelation of the syndicated show by Cooper, who also fronts a…

Penguin and Random House agree to publishing merger

British publisher Pearson on Monday said it had agreed to merge its Penguin division with consumer publishing rival Random House, owned by German media giant Bertelsmann. “Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce an agreement to create the world’s leading consumer publishing organisation by combining Penguin and Random House,” said a statement.…

William Faulkner estate sues Sony over Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ line

Faulkner Literary Rights LLC claims Sony did not seek permission to quote snippet in Woody Allen’s hit comedy Sony Pictures Classics and a group of movie exhibitors are the subject of a copyright infringement suit filed against them by the estate of the author William Faulkner. The suit centres on…

Timberlake apologizes for ‘distasteful’ wedding video

Actor-singer Justin Timberlake apologized Friday for a “distasteful” video produced by a friend as a joke that critics blasted for making fun of homeless people. The heartthrob actor posted an open letter on his website about the video, in which a string of homeless, transgender and other people wished him…

Disney’s blonde ‘Latina princess’ draws fire from Latino activists

Once upon a time a major US animation studio crowned a character who was billed its first Latina princess. Then out came the big bad critics, and Disney ran away. Some fans were pleased that “Sofia the First” could have a Latina lead — after all, the European, African American,…

‘Cloud Atlas’ filmmakers under fire for putting actors in ‘yellowface’ makeup

By Xan Brooks, The Guardian Adaptation of David Mitchell book reflects film industry’s racial pecking order, says Asian-American action group Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros’ $100m adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell has been criticised by Asian-Americans after casting white western actors in “yellowface” makeup. Directed by Tom Twyker and Lana and…

Al Gore’s Current TV to ‘evaluate’ buyout offers

Al Gore’s progressive talk station Current may soon be sold off, a report said Friday. “Current has been approached many times by media companies interested in acquiring our company,” Current CEO Joel Hyatt reportedly told The New York Post. “This year alone, we have had three inquiries. As a consequence,…

New York Times blocked in China after reporting on premier’s wealth

Authorities censor publication after revelations that the premier’s relatives have accumulated billions during his leadership China’s foreign ministry has accused the New York Times of smearing the country by reporting that premier Wen Jiabao’s extended family has controlled assets worth at least $2.7bn (£1.67bn). Spokesman Hong Lei said the report “blackens China’s…

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