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March 22, 2000 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-22

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 22, 2000 - 1

- Oscars found in
trash; essentially
echoes nominees

The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -Two men who
worked for the trucking company
hired to deliver Academy Awards
statues were arrested for stealing
the 55 Oscars, all but three of which
were found over the weekend beside
a trash bin by a man scavenging for
valuables. Police said Monday the
two men hoped to profit from Hol-
lywood's most valued trophy.
Bruce Davis, Academy executive
director, said the 52 statues recov-
ered look fine and some probably
will be awarded Sunday. If any are
"nicked or dinged, they will not be
used," Davis said.
Police said the Oscar theft was an
inside job involving two 10-year
employees of Roadway Express, the
* company hired to deliver the stat-
ues. Anthony Keith Hart and
Lawrence Edward Ledent were
arrested Saturday and booked for
investigation of grand theft. They
were being held on $100,000 bail
each. It wasn't immediately clear if
they had attorneys who could com-
Anonymous tips received Satur-
day led police to the suspects, but
detectives would not elaborate.
"They did it for profit. They
thought they could make money,"
police Detective Marc Zavala said.
In one of the oddest presentations
in Oscar history, officers wheeled
two carts loaded with the statues
into a news conference by police
Chief Bernard Parks. Officers
slipped on rubber gloves to remove
six of the Oscars from their packag-
ing and set them on a table.
Detectives and Academy officials
said they did not know the where-
abouts of the other three Oscars.
The gold-plated statues are 13 1/2-
inches tall and weigh 8 1/2 pounds
each. The 55 statues cost about
$18,000 to manufacture.

The Oscars were shipped March 3
from manufacturer R.S. Owens of
Chicago and arrived at Roadway
Express' warehouse in Bell, Calif.,
on March 8.
It is the same community where
4,000 Oscar ballots were misplaced
at a postal facility earlier this
month, forcing the Academy to
print new ballots and extend voting
by two days, to this Thursday. Jon
Gerloff, security manager for Road-
way's western division, said the
company believes Hart and Ledent
made off with the statues the same
day the shipment arrived.
With some Oscars already in the
Academy vaults and the new statues
being made by R.S. Owens, orga-
nizers now have far more than they
will need for the big night. "We
have enough for about three years,"
said Academy President Robert
The Academy was just glad to
have the statues back and remained
hopeful the missing three would be
"It's been an enormous distrac-
tion," Davis said. "It's nice to know
there's not going to be a flood of
them on the black market."
The statues were found Sunday
night by Willie Fulgear, who had
been scavenging trash bins for valu-
ables and called police to report the
"I've got more Oscars than any of
the movie stars," said Fulgear, who
hopes to collect some or all of a
$50,000 reward put up by Roadway
Express. Gerloff said Roadway
Express had not figured out whether
Fulgear would receive some of the
Rehme also said the Academy had
not decided whether to invite Fulgear to
the Oscars, though Davis said that
"would make kind of a satisfactory
conclusion to the whole thing."

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
The real Erin Brockovich, at right, with her boss, attorney Ed Masry
'Erin Brocko""Avich'
-m-o r than just ;a nacb e

The Baltimore Sun
While the Discovery Channel has
been busy thawing out woolly mam-
moths from frozen tundra this win-
ter. it's become what you might call
hot stuff itself elsewhere on the TV
and radio dial.
Recent network TV shows and a
heavily played pop single by the
Philadelphia-based Bloodhound
Gang hav e celebrated the more
prurient side of those Discovery
nature shows: the mating sequences.
For instance, in Bloodhound
Gang's "The Bad Touch," radio lis-
teners and MTV viewers hear front-
man Jimmy Pop's deadpan
monotone croon this refrain over
and over: "You and me baby ain't
nothin' but mammals. So, let's do it
like they do on the Discovery Chan-
"The Bad Touch" has become one
of the most requested songs on
Washington-based alterna-rock sta-
tion DC 101. and the video of the
monkey-suited band has become a
regular on MTV's "Total Request
Meanwhile, on a recent episode of
Fox TV's "Malcolm in the Middle."
Malcolm's middle-aged parents got
a bit, um. carried away while watch-
ing a Discoverv documentary.
For its part, the Discovery Chan-
nel appears unfazed by the attention
being paid to what some wags have
termed "kitty porn."
"It just goes to show how the Dis-

ie for both


covery Channel has disseminated
into the popular culture," said Dis-
covery's director of publicity, Karen
That's certainly seems true in the
case of "The Bad Touch." The
song's lyrics (described on the
band's website as "one-half wit, and
one-half half-wit") also make pop
culture references ranging from Rip
Taylor to Lyle Lovett to "The X-
Files." But rhymed as it is into the
song's catchy hook, the Discovery
Channel stands out.
About that hook: Some radio sta-
tions have been reporting a rumor
that Discovery Channel employees
have been buying up the Blood-
hound Gang CD to keep it out of the
hands of the public. "I would be
extraordinarily surprised if that were
true," Baratz says, pointing out that
such a strategy would probably only
boost radio play. Besides, she says,
the Discovery Channel has no probe
lem with the song.
"People sort of chuckled when
they first heard it, but that was all"I
she says, noting similar reactions to
mentions of animal mating scenes
and Discovery on "The Simpsons"
and "Friends."
Does that mean Discovery might
consider jumping on the bandwagon
itself, and perhaps promoting the
sexual aspects of its programming?
"Absolutely not," Baratz says.
"We'retoo busy thawing mammoths,
and that sort of thing is way out of
the ballpark of what we try to do."

Los Angeles Times
Erin Brockovich is now a Holly-
wood name, but the morning after the
glitzy premiere of her movie she
wasn't sleeping in or drinking celebra-
tory champagne from a crystal flute.
She spent Wednesday morning in
the emergency room with her feverish
daughter, like any typical parent, even
one glorified on movie posters and bus
And in the evening, at a fund-raiser
and early screening of "Erin Brock-
ovich," the film that tells her story, she
had no entourage and trod no red car-
pet, just the speckled one at the United
Artists Oaks Mall Theater in Thou-
sand Oaks northwest of Los Angeles.
She's still the same Erin Brockovich
she was before Julia Roberts wiggled
into the tight skirts and cleavage-reveal-
ing tops Brockovich is known for and
became a character at once smart, out-
spoken, tenacious and driven to justice.
You'd guess the real Brockovich
would be impossible to fluster.
At the premiere in Hollywood, "I
was literally shaking," said Brock-
ovich, still an investigator at the law
office of Masry & Vititoe in the Los
Angeles area.
"I've never, ever seen anything like
it: The people, the attention, the cam-
eras," she said. "One of the photogra-
phers said, 'Come up closer.' And I
said, 'No, you scare me.
But she hadn't been afraid of wear-
ing a body-hugging dress with two
cutouts in the midriff, a dress she
pulled out of her closet just before the
premiere. The stress of celebrity had
made her lose weight, and the previ-
ously planned dress had to be ditched.
It's a long way from the dusty streets
of the California desert community of
Hinkley, where Brockovich did the
unglamorous work of legal investiga-
tion, door-to-door and through mud
and muck, years before the case and

the Universal Pictures-Columbia Pic-
tures movie made her rich.
The movie tells the story of how
the twice-divorced mother of three
with a daring fashion sense and
dogged persistence helped win a 5333
million lawsuit against PG&E,
accused of poisoning the town's
water. Even as the movie is unveiled,
litigation on the PG&E case contin-
ues in Hinkley.
But because of her new celebrity
(including a cameo as a waitress in
the film), she can no longer go door
to door investigating. And for the
moment, she has to play movie star.
"I don't want to get sick of it,"
Brockovich said. "It's a great opportu-
nity to send our message. Everything in
the movie is true."

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