The Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles has launched an advertising campaign that it says is designed to convince entertainment industry execs that diverse casting is the right thing to do and makes good business sense.
The first ad appeared yesterday in the Hollywood Reporter, which is targeted to entertainment execs.
"You have a demand. We have a supply," the ad reads. The next ad will run Aug. 31 in the Hollywood Reporter's competitor, Daily Variety.
Guild President Richard Masur said SAG wants to "challenge" the myth that there aren't enough qualified performers among groups that are underrepresented on television. He made no mention of the film industry or its track record.
"We also hope to convince industry insiders that diversity can improve their bottom line," he said in a statement issued yesterday by SAG.
In July, the NAACP attacked the four major broadcast networks for their lack of minority representation and threatened legal action. CBS execs took issue with being included in that attack, noting several minority leads on the network's prime-time lineup; ABC, NBC and Fox announced minority cast additions to their shows shortly after the NAACP charge.
Talk show host Jenny Jones is unlikely to be called to the stand in the new trial of a man who killed an acquaintance after the two appeared on a taping of the show. Attorneys for Jonathan Schmitz say they'll take a different tack this time and argue that Scott Amedure stalked their client and drove him to violence, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors say proof of stalking is not a defense to murder, the AP reported.
It's Schmitz's second time standing trial in Michigan in the death of Amedure. Jury selection in the second-degree murder case began Monday; arguments may get underway late next week.
Schmitz, who was convicted of the same charge in 1996, is accused of killing Amedure in March 1995, three days after they appeared for a segment about same-sex crushes. In the first trial, Schmitz's lawyers--not the ones he's using this time--argued that mental illness and the ambush tactics of "The Jenny Jones Show" pushed him into a rage that led to the killing. The jury convicted him, but the verdict was overturned because of errors made by the judge.
Three months ago, a civil jury held the producers of Jones's show liable in the death and awarded the Amedure family $25 million. That verdict is being appealed.
For this murder trial, Schmitz's new lawyers say they hope to shift the blame to Amedure, a bartender who developed a crush on Schmitz and announced his affection on the Jones show.
"In the first trial they blamed Jenny Jones and they blamed her show entirely," said Schmitz's defense attorney, Jerome Sabbota, according to the AP report.
But, he added, the Jones show "never would have known about Jonathan Schmitz if not for Scott Amedure." Sabbota said the evidence will show Amedure "stalked him, pushed him and wouldn't leave him alone."
In the civil trial, lawyers for the show argued that Schmitz did not kill Amedure until after Amedure left a suggestive note on his front door.
"The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" is hooking up with The Washington Post on the bus.
The two news organizations will work together on some coverage of the 2000 elections and presidential inauguration in January 2001. The relationship starts Monday with coverage of the straw poll in Ames, Iowa. That night, "NewsHour," which airs weeknights on more than 300 PBS stations, will feature political reporters and columnists from The Post in studio discussions, from the newsroom of the paper and in reports from the campaign trail.
Post reporters will appear and report regularly on "The NewsHour" for the duration of the election process. The partnership will extend to their Web sites, with each providing a link to the other's site for political coverage.
CAPTION: Jonathan Schmitz at his first murder trial in 1996. His conviction in that case was overturned.