Hot Buttered Death
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Tuesday, April 01, 2003  

It's not just the Oscars rolling back the red carpet.

The invasion of Iraq has Hollywood executives scrambling to revise advertising campaigns to reflect wartime sensibilities, canceling movie premiere parties and debating whether to delay movies that they fear will be hard to sell to a war-obsessed public.
In a letter this week to people invited to attend Thursday's premiere of "Anger Management," starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, the distributor, Columbia Pictures, said it would cancel the premiere party and the red carpet walked on by stars "in consideration of world events."

You mean Adam Sandler movies have become a red carpet event? Good grief.

There is also a practical reason for canceling the red carpet walk, Mr. Ammer said. "I don't think anyone would run this stuff," he said referring to the film of stars that television news programs often include in their entertainment coverage. In any case, "Anger Management," already has high visibility because of its megastar cast.
Canceling a premiere party can also save cost-conscious studios up to $1 million.

Which I'm sure is purely coincidental. Actually, it probably is; a million bucks doesn't get you much in Hollywood these days—probably wouldn't even pay for the catering on some films—so it's arguably not that much of a saving for the studio.

But studios only want so much interest. In the original ad for "What a Girl Wants," a comedy in which Ms. Bynes plays an American girl in Britain, the star is standing between two British Royal Guards wearing a T-shirt with an American flag on it and making the peace sign, à la Susan Sarandon, who flashed the sign to photographers at the Academy Awards on March 23. In the last week, though, those ads have been altered, showing Ms. Bynes with her hands by her side, a studio spokeswoman said.
"Because of the high emotions under way, we decided to bring her hands down so there was no political statement," the spokeswoman said.

Yeah, heaven forfend that a Hollywood performer should use such a public forum as a film poster to make a political statement. Ms Bynes will obviously just have to use the chat show circuit like a real celebrity would.

posted by James Russell | 7:27 PM

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