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Culture Briefs

- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 1, 2010

No pregnant fanboys

"George Lucas may have invented the Jedi Knights, but a jury has decided hes no gentleman. A jury in Marin County on Wednesday found Lucasfilm Ltd. guilty of discrimination and wrongful dismissal in the case of Julie Gilman Veronese, a former employee at the 'Star Wars' filmmakers private estate.

"Veronese filed her suit three years ago after being fired from Lucasfilm. The 39-year claimed, and the jury of her peers agreed, she lost her job for being pregnant. The jury came back with their decision after just three days of deliberation ... the [Lucasfilm] lawyer told the Marin Independent Journal that the company planned to appeal.

"Though only awarded $113,830 in economic loss damages, much less than [Veronese] was seeking, the 39-year old said her case 'was always about the principle.' However, Veronese did contend, like a member of the Rebel Alliance, that 'the litigation over the past year and a half was the most abusive process I've ever been through in my life.'

"Sorry to say, Julie, but wait until the Empire strikes back."

-- Dominic Patten, writing on "George Lucas Guilty of Discriminating Against Pregnant Employee" on June 30 at the Wrap

Meryl as Maggie

"Meryl Streep is in talks to reteam with her 'Mamma Mia!' director Phyllida Lloyd for 'The Iron Lady,' a biopic of the controversial and long-governing former British prime minister. Jim Broadbent is in talks to play Margaret Thatcher's husband, Denis, for the pic, which is being co-produced and co-financed by Pathe and Film4.

"Lady" is based on a script by Abi Morgan and, as described by Pathe, 'tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and insightful portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman.' ...

"Pathe plans to shoot 'Lady' by the end of the year. If a deal is completed, the role of Thatcher would be the highest-profile character yet tackled by Streep, who has garnered Oscar noms for playing real-life women such as whistleblower Karen Silkwood, author Susan Orlean and cooking guru Julia Child."

-- Borys Kit, writing on "Meryl Streep to play Margaret Thatcher," on June 30 at the Hollywood Reporter

Dixie Chicks II

"But right in the middle of this apparent outreach to Country Music fans, [Sheryl] Crow gave Katie Couric an interview for Glamour magazine, in which she lashed out at Tea Parties and other aspects of the Country Music crowd. As I read the interview, I could only imagine the Dixie Chicks former tour manager picking up a copy of Glamour and screaming -- 'Sheryl, didnt you learn anything from Natalie Maines big mouth?!'

"With one fell swoop, Crow insulted the kind of Americans who go hear Martina McBride sing at one of Sean Hannitys Freedom Concerts on Tuesday, then attend a rally against high taxes and big government on Thursday.

"For example: When Couric asked about the Tea Party movement, Crow referenced watching videos on YouTube and said: 'These people ... really dont even know what the issues are, theyre just swept up in the fear of it and the anger of it.' Hmm ... By watching videos on YouTube Crow was able to ascertain that Tea Partiers are ignorant people who are controlled by base impulses. Ive watched YouTube videos before and learned that Crow only wants us to use one square of toilet tissue after going to the restroom (in order to save the planet). Does she want me to form an opinion of her based on those videos and propagate it?" ...

"The one bright spot in this interview, if youre the kind of person who looks for silver linings and such, is that somewhere, in an undisclosed location, Natalie Maines is overjoyed to see shes finally going to have someone to eat lunch with."

-- AWR Hawkins, writing on "Dixie Chick Flashback: Why Does Sheryl Crow Insult Her Country Music Fans?" on July 1 at Big Hollywood

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