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Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2000

People, faces & things

September 28, 2000

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The joke's on Charlie

Stepping into Michael J. Fox's squeaky-clean shoes on "Spin City" has given Charlie Sheen a chance to laugh at himself.

"The show's creator came to me early on and said, 'Look, Charlie, we want to make this guy pretty colorful; how do you feel about that?' And I said, 'Let's do it,' because that gives me good opportunity to deal with my notoriety head-on and let people know that I don't take myself that seriously."

"I mean, if I can't laugh at it, I'm missing one of the best jokes of the day," Sheen tells the October issue of Maxim magazine.

Sheen, 35, was convicted in 1997 of beating a girlfriend. The next year he was hospitalized for a drug overdose and was ordered into a rehabilitation program after his father reported the overdose to the judge.

The actor, whose film credits include "Money Talks," "The Chase," "Hot Shots! Part Deux," "Major League" and "Young Guns," also told Maxim he's clueless about the opposite sex, despite being linked to numerous women.

"If I've learned anything at all, it's that I know nothing about women," he said. "They remain a mystery. But I've learned to stop trying to figure them out. There's no end to the journey, and that's what makes it so compelling."

Jurors tour Clint's ranch

The jurors hearing a disabled woman's federal lawsuit against Clint Eastwood got a tour of the actor's ranch Wednesday.

A woman with muscular dystrophy is seeking unspecified damages from Eastwood because parts of his historic Mission Ranch, Calif., hotel were inaccessible to her wheelchair when she had dinner there in 1996.

The jurors were driven 75 miles from their San Jose courtroom to see for themselves whether Eastwood could have done more to accommodate wheelchairs.

Eastwood was present but did not lead the tour and was not allowed to talk to jurors. The plaintiff, Diane zum Brunnen, 51, did not attend.

Eastwood bought Mission Ranch, which has buildings dating to the 1850s, in 1987 for $4.2 million and has spent more than $6 million on renovations. He testified last week that he has tried to provide wheelchair access while maintaining the historic feel of the property.

Closing arguments were expected today.

Spike Lee gets angry

Spike Lee's crusade to clean up the media's depiction of blacks is still going strong. The outspoken filmmaker recently caught an episode of the new UPN sitcom, "Girlfriends," and he's livid over what he saw.

"Is that the only thing black women can talk about is getting f-ed?" he tells Newsweek of the Kelsey Grammer-produced comedy, described as an urban "Sex and the City." "And then the show had black men holding their johnsons and looking into the camera smiling," he ranted on. "What white show has white men grabbing their ns and smiling into the camera?

Spike's not done yet. "And why do all the black people have to sing and dance in the opening sequence?" he continues. "The subtext is, 'Lord, we're so happy we on TV."'

Lee, whose latest film, "Bamboozled," satirizes black people's media image, says there's no longer any excuse for blacks to degrade themselves on national television. "Back in the day we didn't have a choice. ... Nowadays we don't have to do this stuff. So anything you do is on you."

A UPN rep had "no comment" on Lee's remarks.

Streisand tickets founder

Scalpers expecting to make a profit on Barbra Streisand's farewell concerts at Madison Square Garden have resorted to selling tickets for less than face value about half-price in some cases.

The concerts Wednesday and tonight were officially sold out within hours. But plenty of tickets were being offered by brokers over the Internet on Wednesday at prices ranging from $500 to $1,500 or more.

The face value of the tickets was $125 to $1,500, with VIP tickets going for $2,500, including dinner.

Several brokers who would speak only on condition of anonymity said that as the concerts approached, the more expensive tickets started selling for less than face value.

One man who described himself as a ticket wholesaler who sells to other brokers said that he could probably secure one of the $1,500 tickets for $700 or $800.

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