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Show Business

David Wild Revisits the James Franco-Anne Hathaway Oscar Disaster

This week’s episode of Allison Hope Weiner’s interview program Media Mayhem is fantastically entertaining. The guest is David Wild, who got a job straight out of college with Esquire magazine, moved on from there to a staff position with Rolling Stone before winding up (with a little help from Steven Spielberg) as a go-to guy for the Emmys, Grammys and various other awards show/celebrity tributes.

One of Wild’s Oscar writing brushes was the year that James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted. Weiner asks Wild for his thoughts on why it went so wrong:

“I cannot explain it other than I felt like it was the worst blind date in show business history. It was the homecoming queen or head of drama club trying hard in the sweetest possible to put on a show, and a guy who for whatever reason I don’t think wanted to host the show. In fact he went on Jimmy Kimmel and announced his intention to be the worst host in Oscar history. So on a certain level, the show was a tremendous success, because he achieved that goal.”

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Quentin Tarantino Retirement Plans Hang Over THR Director Roundtable

It’s remarkable how much traction some early-retirement comments initially made by Quentin Tarantino in his Playboy interview with’s Mike Fleming continue to receive. Hundreds of pick-ups later, those intentions are a topic of conversation once more in the latest Hollywood Reporter awards season roundtable discussion.

The funny thing is that Tarantino indirectly challenges his whole assertion of not wanting to become a diminishing-cinematic-returns old fart when he reminds that his favorite film of 2011 was made by a 76-year-old (now 77) Woody Allen. Fellow panelist David O. Russell for one would like QT to keep at it:

Russell: Back to Quentin, about his whole thing about the young man’s game. First of all, I’m gonna try to convince you to keep making movies ’cause I love watching your movies. Second of all, I remember saying to Diane Keaton about 10 years ago, “What is it with Woody Allen?” I felt like his work had gotten shaky. And she said: “I don’t know. I don’t know how many times he can go back to that well.” But the fact that Woody Allen, every year, gets up and makes a movie, I think that’s a good way to live, and he hits a good average sometimes. I really loved Midnight in Paris.

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Porn Stars Are Happier Than You

Score one for L.A.’s other film industry. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research, porn actresses have higher levels of self-esteem than the average woman. They also report greater sexual satisfaction, to the surprise of absolutely no one.

The study was conducted to explore the popular notion that porn actresses “have higher rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), psychological problems, and drug use compared to the typical woman.” According to the results, the “damaged goods” label is bunk. Adult film actresses were found to be as psychologically healthy as the general public, and were no more likely to have been abused as children than the average woman.

But it’s worth noting that the study only interviewed Los Angeles porn actresses. Ours is the largest and best regulated porn industry in the world, where actors are afforded the same legal protections and rights as other American workers. In those places where pornography is underground and women do not enjoy equal rights, we kinda doubt that the porn actresses are all that happy.

The moral of the story? Buy American!

Pictured: The ecstatic Jesse Jane and Asa Akira. Hat tip AVN

Hooray for Two Very Different Hollywoods

By sheer coincidence, The Hollywood Reporter has a hand in a pair of diametrically opposed celebrations of Tinseltown this week. All within the space of a few miles and 24 hours.

Last night at Falcon Hollywood, the publication toasted its Next Gen 2012 issue and roster of 35 up-and-coming young agents, managers, TV-film execs, publicists, writer-directors and actors. FishbowlLA dropped by for a cocktail and the best way to describe the scene is that it looked, felt and sounded like a shoot for the Entourage movie. Complete with Janice Min cameo and sexy product placement (the evening’s sponsors were A&E and Samsung Galaxy SIII).

Tonight, THR film critic Todd McCarthy will dial things down at the American Cinematheque via a Q&A with 98-year-old Norman Lloyd (pictured). Today is Lloyd’s birthday and 2012 marks his 80th year in show business (he started working on Broadway in September 1932).

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WWE Announcer Hospitalized After Being Struck by Car

Singer and WWE announcer Lilian Garcia was struck by a car on Friday in Los Angeles and remains hospitalized, according to

Garcia is in stable condition but suffered multiple contusions and lacerations on the left side of her body. As a precaution, doctors immobilized her neck.

The 46-year-old started with the WWE as a ring announcer in 1999 before leaving briefly in 2009. Garcia, who has recorded a couple of albums as a solo singer, returned to the WWE in 2011.

Comedian Tig Notaro’s Cancer Prognosis is Good

Good news from earlier this week. If you’re on the Internet, which you clearly are, you likely heard of LA comedian Tig Notaro‘s battle with cancer, after Louis C.K. announced he was releasing one of her standup performances on his website–in which she had just been diagnosed and was dealing with the news onstage.

The LA Times spoke with Notaro, who let everyone know her prognosis is quite good. She also apparently pantomimed the sound of her double mastectomy to reporter Deb Vankin. It sounds like this: “Broing!”"Burrh-burrrruup!”"Phweesh-Phwipt!”

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Is Amanda Palmer the Arianna Huffington of the Music Industry?

Musician Amanda Palmer is taking some heat for her recent efforts to “crowdsource” musicians for her latest concert tour. Palmer, who raised nearly $1.2 million via a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new album and concert, says she cannot afford to pay for a string quartet and a couple of horn players and is asking for volunteer musicians in each city the tour visits.

Palmer vigorously defended asking musicians to play for free via her blog, saying that she’s played many gigs for no pay throughout her long career, and that “this isn’t about money. For me, this is about freedom. And about choices.” Arianna Huffington made a similar argument in defense of her unpaid writers, claiming the opportunity to be heard was reward enough for most contributors. Her network of thousands of bloggers, like Palmer’s devoted fan base, appear to agree.

Palmer, who rose to fame with her former band The Dresden Dolls, told the New York Times she couldn’t afford the extra $35,000 it would cost to hire musicians in place of volunteers. While we don’t know the details of Palmer’s personal finances, it should be noted that she is married to best-selling author, screenwriter and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman, whose net worth is estimated at $18 million.

Tickets for the concert will run you about $35. At least Arianna gives it away for free!

Showtime Renews Episodes for 3rd Season

Matt LeBlanc is so good at playing himself, he won a Golden Globe for the effort. And we’re going to get to see him do it again in 2013 when Episodes, Showtime’s satire of the television industry, returns for a third season. David Nevins, President of Entertainment for Showtime, announced the new season of Episodes today, which will consist of nine half-hour episodes.

LeBlanc’s portrayal of a middle-aged celebrity desperately trying to become relevant again is painfully funny. But the main draw for us fishies is that Episodes is a show about writers, relatable scribes struggling with both the creative process and a soul-crushing corporate structure, as obsessed with profit as they are clueless about creating anything of real value. And that’s what success looks like in our industry! What else can you do but laugh?

Porn Offers Roll In on Child Bride Courtney Stodden’s 18th Birthday

The adult entertainment industry appears to have been counting the days till Courtney Stodden turned 18. The teenager, who became national news at 16 when she married 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison, turned 18 yesterday and was promptly flooded with job offers from porn companies.

According to TMZ, four different adult film studios are interested in making movies with Stodden, who may be considering the new career path. She told TMZ, “I’m not going to say yes and I’m not going to say no.” When asked what her husband thought of the porn offers, Stodden said, “He seems a little frightened right now.”

With her lucite stiletto heels, revealing outfits, and teased blonde hair, Stodden has been working a classic stripper look since first becoming tabloid fodder. But she identified herself as a model/actress/singer, even releasing a handful of songs. And most Hollywood hopefuls that turn to porn don’t have their husband’s Lost royalty checks to fall back on, so maybe Stodden’s just toying with us.

LeVar Burton: ‘Roots was my first audition’

Back in the late 70s, actor LeVar Burton was a sophomore at USC when he landed the starring role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark mini-series, Roots. In fact, Burton was so uninterested in TV (and film, too) that he didn’t even have an agent.

Roots was my first audition. The business had exhausted all the normal means of finding professional talent. They’d seen every young, black kid in L.A. who had an agent, and they were beating the bushes,” Burton said in the final installment of our Media Beat interview. “My goal was to graduate with a BFA (a bachelor of fine arts majoring in drama) and move to New York and work on Broadway. I had no aspirations toward television or film work at all. I was a theater baby.”

So, how has he managed to rack up this crazy long list of credits? ”You would be surprised,” he said. “For me, it’s not like I’m making the decisions. It’s just about what the universe brings to me.”

Part 1: LeVar Burton on the Future of Reading Rainbow & Printed Books
Part 2: LeVar Burton: By Not Focusing on Reading, “We’re sacrificing our kids”