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MOVIESWhoopi’s Stolen Oscar Retrieved From Trash*After the...

MOVIES

Whoopi’s Stolen Oscar Retrieved From Trash

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After the recovery of her best supporting actress statuette for “Ghost,” Oscar host Whoopi Goldberg swears that it will never leave her house again.

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The trouble began when Goldberg sent the piece to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for cleaning and replating. The academy packed it in a box and shipped it by UPS Friday to the manufacturer, R.S. Owens, in Chicago. The box was empty when it arrived four days later.

Goldberg’s spokesman, Brad Cafarelli, said that someone apparently opened the box, removed the Oscar and resealed the package.

A security guard at Ontario International Airport, 35 miles east of L.A., found the Oscar in a trash bin on Tuesday. A UPS spokeswoman said that the company sent the statuette to the academy and that an investigation is underway.

Oscars are hard to sell because they’re numbered, noted academy spokesman John Pavlik. And this one was inscribed with Goldberg’s name.

Goldberg was both relieved and annoyed at UPS. “Is this any way to run a business?” she asked. “It’s appalling that something like this could happen.”

TELEVISION

NBC’s Peacock Stripped of Red, White and Blue

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NBC is planning to remove the red, white and blue from its on-air peacock logo, colors introduced after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The logo, which accompanies virtually all network programming, will go back to its translucent form on Friday, just before NBC begins its coverage of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Variety reports that network executives didn’t want to broadcast such an obvious pro-USA symbol during an international event aimed at promoting global unity. During past Olympics, NBC and other networks have been accused of hyping American athletes at the expense of those from other countries.

Convict Benefits From ‘Frontline’ Coverage

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Media attention generated by a PBS “Frontline” documentary has been credited with helping to release a man imprisoned for a crime he insists he didn’t commit.

Less than a month after the Jan. 10 program, Terence Garner walked out of North Carolina’s Johnson County Courthouse on Tuesday after the state granted his motion for a new trial. No date has been set.

The 21-year-old had been sentenced to spend 34 to 43 years in prison for the 1997 armed robbery of the Quality Finance Co., in which one employee was shot. “An Ordinary Crime,” which presented strong evidence of Garner’s innocence, prompted thousands of viewers to write letters in support of his release, and a grass-roots campaign, known as the Terence Garner Justice Coalition, was formed to lobby for him.

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Robin Williams will present Barry Levinson (“Bandits”) with the Filmmaker of the Year Award at the American Cinema Editors’ 52nd annual awards show to be held on Feb. 24.... In a ruling that overturns an earlier conviction, a judge in Newport, R.I., has found original “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch not guilty of assaulting his ex-boyfriend.... Singer and actress Brandy, 23, revealed Tuesday that she wed music producer Robert Smith last summer.... Warner Home Video has set May 28 as the release date for videos and DVDs of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Elaine Dutka


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