- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Spiking Janet

The director of “Do the Right Thing” says Janet Jackson did the wrong thing.

Spike Lee, speaking at a regional Kent State University campus in Ohio, took aim at Miss Jackson and her Super Bowl halftime flash, lamenting that quality singing and dancing aren’t enough anymore.

As in the Madonna liplock with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, he said, performers feel “they have to do something extra.”

“What’s gonna be next? It’s getting crazy, and it’s all down to money. Money and fame,” Mr. Lee said. “Somehow, the whole value system has been upended.”

Plus ca change

Performers have been offending against social norms and standards of decency since time immemorial.

Legendary French actress Jeanne Moreau remembers a time when theater types such as herself were lumped in with streetwalkers. Even her own father thought little of her profession.

“This was a man born in 1898. At that time, actresses were regarded as cocottes, barely a step above the pavement,” Miss Moreau told The Washington Times’ Gary Arnold at a Tuesday luncheon in Washington.

“He could never really change his attitude. He attended my first stage performance but slept during the first act. I didn’t make an entrance until the second act. The stage manager was muttering about this man on the front row snoring. It was my father. When I did arrive on stage, he was offended by the fact that I had a love scene with Pierre Blanchar, a famous actor but 30 years older than I.”

Kid Rock flagged

Amid all the hoopla about the exposure of Janet Jackson’s private part, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has another bone to pick with the Super Bowl halftime show.

The VFW is upset that no one has called attention to another offensive act — the poncho worn by rap-metal rocker Kid Rock, which was made by cutting a slit in an American flag.

VFW commander in chief Edward Banas says Kid Rock’s outfit was “in poor taste and extremely disrespectful.” Mr. Banas also noted that the NFL, MTV and CBS have issued apologies for Miss Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” but have said nothing publicly about Kid Rock.

Rotten mouth

Roundly criticized for betraying his punk roots when he agreed to join the cast of the British TV show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) may be trying to redeem himself.

After learning that the show’s viewers had voted to keep him on the show, on which washed-up celebrities are stranded in the Australian rain forest, Mr. Lydon tore into an expletive-laden rant that was beamed into 10 million homes.

In its official statement of apology, the British TV station ITV said: “It was a live broadcast, so it was unpreventable. But we apologize for any offense we caused. … It’s no excuse, but there is a warning which goes out before the program saying there might be bad language.”

Hey, at least he didn’t expose his right breast or tear up the Union Jack.

‘Eddie’ strikes again

Taking a revisionist slant on civil rights heroine Rosa Parks and activist the Rev.Jesse Jackson, the character played by Cedric the Entertainer had the most memorable lines in “Barbershop.”

“Eddie” the barber may turn heads again in “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” which opens in area theaters tomorrow. His character dubs the D.C. sniper shootings as the “Jackie Robinson of psycho crimes.”

“Yeah, what kind of analogy is that, man?” Cedric told the Associated Press, laughing. “He crossed the line on that.”

‘Passion’ deletion

In the forthcoming movie “The Passion of the Christ,” Matthew 27:25 has been eighty-sixed.

The New York Times reported yesterday that Mel Gibson has decided to remove a controversial scene in which the Jewish high priest Caiaphas declares at the Crucifixion, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

In removing the scene from the final cut of the movie, which opens Feb. 25, Mr. Gibson was likely responding to widely reported concerns that “The Passion” would fuel anti-Semitism.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff, wire and Web reports.

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