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Ross von Metzke | November 09, 2007

Hollywood screenwriters strike

It always brings me great pleasure when I can report to you that a hottie who has brought us much joy and eye candy over the years is coming to theatres in not one but two flicks that promise to make him a household name. That hottie, my friends, is Channing Tatum.

In the movies, it seems, he sports tattoos – different tattoos in each, but tattoos all the same.

The first photo is from StopLoss, Channing�s battlefield drama with another hottie – Ryan Phillippe! Notice the dog tags – I think I might just take a bullet for this guy.

The second flick is opposite Charlize Theron in Battle in Seattle.

That flick takes place during a demonstration march on Seattle�s Capitol. Channing plays a crazy, hence the tat right across his sternum.

No matter which way you slice it, Channing is hot and, with any luck, this time next year, he�ll have Oscar nominee proceeding his name.

Well, unless you�re living under a rock, are out of the country or just plain don�t give a shit, by now, most of you know that all of Hollywood�s writers – at least those registered with the guild – are on strike.

I, however, am not registered with the guild and the only screenplay I�ve ever written was as a horny 13-year-old starring Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon in an erotic thriller, so this column will go on!

As the writers strike, some of Hollywood�s biggest stars are turning out to show their support. Leno dropped by with donuts – which makes sense, I guess� if you�re gonna be walking in a circle for hours on end, it�s the perfect time to cheat on your diet.

On that note, Eva Longoria brought pizza – my gut says she didn�t eat a slice, though� and writers were still pissed she worked for part of the day. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stepped it up a notch and grabbed a picket sign, as did her Old Christine co-star Wanda Sykes� – hough I�d frankly like to see Wanda hop behind the wheel of a Denali and head straight for the studio heads who are cheating the real talent in Hollywood out of a few measly cents.

But the one star who let everyone down big time is Ellen DeGeneres. While Leno, John Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel and other talk shows went dark this week to support the strike, DeGeneres crossed the picket line and went to work as usual. She did tell the audience that in support of her writers she�d not be doing a monologue Monday morning, but something tells me that has more to do with the fact that no one stuck around to help her write it. Bad move, El!

On the subject of talk shows, Rosie O�Donnell had one picked up and cancelled in one week. Now that�s fast even by Hollywood�s standards. On Tuesday, rumors were swirling that Rosie was in talks with MSNBC to top line her own political gab fest to air opposite Larry King Live. But come Thursday morning, the project�s been shelved.

Rosie says (in that psycho babble blog speak she likes to subject her fans to) it�s because she opened her big mouth prematurely and leaked to pending talk show to a Web site in Florida. But insiders say it has more to do with the fact that no one in entertainment can get Rosie to sign longer than a year�s contract – and for that year, the amount of money she wants is insane.

Let�s see now – lawsuit to end Rosie�s magazine, bankrupt Broadway show, the rift heard round the world when she vacated The View. Probably best MSNBC bow out now, don't you think?

Rosie, at least, is in better shape than Jacko. Yup, the one time �king of pop� Michael Jackson resurfaced stateside for the first time in God knows how long to try and negotiate an extension to keep his Neverland Ranch from becoming property of the bank. He allegedly owes more than $200,000 in back taxes. If reports are to be believed, the pop star who was, at one time, thought to be worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars, doesn�t have it.

Is this gonna be Janet to the rescue again? After all, she paid his staff the last time Jacko faced money troubles. Her last album might have tanked, but that Tyler Perry film was a hit. I�m sure Hollywood will pony up some cash if you go the film route, Janet. Give it a whirl!

One person who could certainly afford to co-sign on a loan is Oprah Winfrey, but I wouldn�t approach her just yet.

The queen of all things media isn�t having her best week. First she had to deal with the accusations that someone�s going around her school for girls Africa molesting students. She addressed parents and offered her sincerest apologies, saying she felt she�d failed them. Oprah cleaned house though and made it quite clear abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.

Well now comes word that a children�s book Oprah recommended to readers was penned by a white supremacist. Say what? You got that right. The Education Of Little Tree was a big hit when it was first published in the �70s – it tells the story of an orphaned boy raised by his Cherokee grandparents. But in the �90s, then deceased author Forrest Carter came under fire when he was exposed as a former Klan leader.

Um, yeah – Oprah liked that even less than finding out James Frey made up half of his book, A Million Little Pieces. Needless to say, Oprah�s Book Club is no longer educating folks on Little Tree.

In funny news – and when I say funny, I mean funny – the most unlikely of stars nearly came to blows in a Hollywood hotspot this week. When George Clooney spotted photogs out of the corner of his eye snapping shots in his direction, he flipped them off. Fabio, who was the one actually getting his pic taken, thought that was rude and confronted the A-lister.

I can see that. I mean, after all, with George Clooney in the room, what are the chances a photog would stop for Fabio. He was probably pissed at George for inadvertently stealing the spotlight.

Needless to say, Fabio had to say something and, just like that, it was on. George shoved Fabio right up into his I Can�t Believe it�s Not Butter. A waiter had to break it up. Pathetic, if you ask me!

Fabio, of course, had to make a statement, because while George can just speed on over to Warner Bros. and take $10 million for whatever the fuck movie he feels like making this week, Fabio�s practically gotta bend over a Wet bar to get $150 plus tip these days.

And what did the former romance novel cover model have to say? �George is lucky he didn�t end up in the ER.�

Oh, cute, I get it, cuz� he used to be on that show – yeah, that was lame.

Down in Florida, Nick Hogan�s luck finally ran out when cops arrested him this week in conjunction with that speed racing crash that left his friend with permanent brain damage. While the Hogan family has been praying for the friend�s full recovery, that ain�t gonna happen – and the fact that said friend wasn�t wearing a seatbelt really doesn�t do much for Hogan�s case either.

Fact is, according to reports, underage Hogan had been drinking – and speeding. How fast? More than 60 in the 35, folks. The fact that it was Nick�s second offense just bodes worse for the underage would be star.

We�re talking time up the river folks.

Cute – I can see it now. Hogan Knows Best: Behind Bars! That would make a killer third season.

And finally, for the three of you who were still waiting for an official statement, Jennifer Lopez is indeed pregnant, not just fat and bloated. She made the announcement at the final stop on her tour – Miami – saying she held out because she didn�t want to take away from the concert experience.

Um, I think when you came out singing instead of dancing, you immediately killed the experience, Jen.

Now, she says, she and Marc are going to step away from the spotlight for a while.

Good – we�ve been saying it for two years. Do that!

And that, folks, is all the shit I can talk for this week. Thanks for hanging in there, and remember – take some time to stop and smell the gossip! – Gay Link Content

  • Ross von Metzke is the Entertainment Editor of Gay Web Monkey and GayWired.com. The former Editor in Chief of Xodus Magazine, his work has appeared in YM, Performing Arts, The San Diego Union Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Instinct and Link. Ross lives in Los Angeles.

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