Well, it seems that Spongebob Squarepants isn’t the only cartoon in the center of controversy. On Jan. 24, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings penned a letter to the head of PBS and attacked the children’s show Letters From Buster for showcasing two lesbian couples in an upcoming episode. Letters From Buster, a spin-off of Arthur, another popular PBS children’s show, features a young cartoon bunny named Buster who visits people and places all over the nation. A recent episode, which has now been pulled by PBS, featured Buster’s visit to farms in the state of Vermont, the only state in the union to recognize same-sex marriages. While the episode didn’t portray any lewd acts or feature any material unsuitable for children, Spelling found the mere existence of the subject in the episode offensive enough to request PBS to return all of its funding for the show. In response, PBS president Pat Mitchell has cancelled the scheduled airing of the episode on his station.
Meanwhile, the Michael Jackson trial has taken another interesting turn with the introduction of Martin Bashir’s TV documentary Living with Michael Jackson as evidence. Prosecutors are submitting the documentary as evidence to support their child molestation case against the pop superstar. The documentary, which aired in April 2003, features Jackson’s infamous remarks regarding his penchant for having young boys sleep in his bed. Since the documentary was made for entertainment purposes, Jackson’s defense team believes the documentary is a ‘fraudulent piece of evidence’ and is moving to have it dismissed from the trial.
While one celebrity remains in hot water with the judicial system, another has found himself free from it. Rape charges against Anthony Anderson, star of such films as Barbershop and My Baby’s Daddy, have been dismissed on the basis of weak evidence and suspicious testimony from the accuser. Charges were filed last summer against Anderson and director Wayne Witherspoon as they worked on their film, Hustle & Flow, currently playing at the Sundance Film Festival.
Looks like Uma Thurman is the bride no more. Thurman’s divorce from ex-husband Ethan Hawke was finalized last week in a Manhattan courtroom. The former couple separated in 2003 following reports of Hawke’s infidelity with an actress on the set of a film.
MTV, the producer of last year’s controversial Super Bowl half-time show, will unleash a new MTV2 channel format during this year’s half-time show. While Paul McCartney is crooning songs over on Fox, MTV and MTV2 will feature a preview of the revamped cable station spin-off. The new MTV2 will feature dazzling new graphics and (of course) music videos. Take that, VH1!
Marta Rusek can be reached at email@example.com.