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tested for a week in Detroit but, suddenly disappeard...Apparently it was put on on a leash out behind the barn. (Circa: 1982). But good old "WHITE DOG" turned up again on a Los Angeles cable TV network a month or so ago (Circa: 1983-4) prompting NBC-TV (Circa: 1984) to buy it for $2.5 million and announce a February network airing. The pundits wise to Hollywood's ways say this movie was intended to attract all of YOU "Roots" watchers during YOUR history week, y'know and, incidentally, to pick up a couple of Nielsen rating points which are worth about $40 million each in revenue.

ZOUNDS! Overnight, big old NBC changed its fickle little ol' mind, forfeited its $2.5 million, and told "WHITE DOG" to "sit" and "stay"...And while everyone in this town was asking WHY?? Doggonit, out it pops that kinetic, young politic-activist WILLIS EDWARDS, now president of the Beverly Hills-Hollyood chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., was one of the consultants "payrolled" by the producers for "creative guidance on sensitive material" during production. (The other consultant, DAVID CRIPPENS, veep of a local PBS outlet, has not been heard from...SO FAR.)

The film's producer is upset by the N.A.A.C.P. prexy's public criticism of "WHITE DOG" since (quote): "on an hourly basis, WILLIS EDWARDS was the second highest paid person on the film after KRISTY MCNICHOL" (end quote)...That means EDWARDS was paid more than the other stars, BURL IVES, PAUL WINFIELD, and the DOG. "I find it ironic," says producer JON DAVISON.

Asked by an L.A. Times newsman if he shouldn't have divulged his previous participation in the film when criticizing it after he became prexy of the local N.A.A.C.P. chapter, EDWARDS is reported to have replied that he worked on the movie as a private consultant. He inferred that where he gets his bread has nothing to do with what he said...which was that "the script was terrible" and that the director "did a terrible job."

EDWARDS added (apparently to close any "double dipping" controversy): "I don't have to tell anybody where I've worked!" Right???...Ri-i-i-g-ht!! Know what y'mean, Brother!

Meanwhile, "White Dog" is on the leash out back behind the barn, again...and YOU think YOU just might never see it, right huh?...WRONG! Don't be surprised if it pops up in your neighborhood theatre any day day now.

ACADEMY AWARDS STUFF is what's happening on the San Andreas (earthquake) Fault now...advertisements for nominations, that "tout" contenders in trade papers are supposed to influence the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences whose votes determine who gets those coveted Oscars. The Academy has a precious few Blacks. While this writer is a member, WILLIAM WALKER, is one of its oldest and most respected...Certainly there are more. But we speak now of talents being "touted" (not nominated) for that trophy―meaning instant world-fame. Thus far:

BILLY DEE WILLIAMS has had Lucas Films ads in trade papers "touting"him for "best actor" in "return of the Jedi", and―

GIBRAN BROWN, a youngster, is being "touted" as "best supporting actor" alongside JOHN CASSAVETTES "touted" for "best actor" for their work in "Marvin & Tige." GIBRAN is described by critics as "outstanding".

EDDIE MURPHY, who has made just a couple of movies, is being "touted" by Paramount for "best actor" in "Trading Places", while RALPH BELLAMY, who has made dozens of pictures, is at the same time being "touted" for "best supporting actor" for the same picture. How about them apples?

SAMMY DAVIS, JR. will be a presenter during the Oscar ceremonies...It will be SAMMY's 5th appearance on the Show.

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Now, INCIDENTALLY: L.A. Lakers basketball star KAREEM ADBUL JABBAR, when asked who he would like to have been, said, "I probably would have liked to have been Clark Gable, but since that didn't work out, I'll settle for who I am..."

AND, gorgeous LENA HORNE will headline her "Lady and Her Music" revue in the 1650-seat showroom of Atlantic City's Resorts International Hotel come April 12-15 with a hotel-wide redecoration reminiscent of Harlem's famed Cotton Club...

AND, come March 21st, the Los Angeles Urban League will bestow ELLA FITZGERALD the 1984 Whitney Young Award for all that the Queen has been and meant to all of us...

AND, superstar LIONEL RICHIE will be the honored MAN of the Year performer come October when super-rich Denver entrepreneur MARVIN DAVIS, owner of 20th Century Fox etc., holds his annual star-studded Carousel Ball to raise bucks for diabetic children...AND, DENISE NICHOLAS-HILL and BROCK PETERS are co-hosting the 8-hour radio documentary "Story of a People" airing nationally during Black History Month.

NOT SO INCIDENTALLY: The late actress DOROTHY DANDRIGE now has her star implanted inthe sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard, thanks in no small measure to actor JOEL FLUELLEN, who honchoed the project for years. SIDNEY POITIER, and FAYARD NICHOLAS, or the famed NICHOLAS BORTHERS, were among the late actresses star friends who turned out for the ocassion...with dozens of others. Meanwhile, JAYNE KENNEDY has optioned the Dandrige life story for a future bio film.

AND, L.A. based concert promoter and record mogul DICK GRIFFEY and other Solar Records biggies were on the French Riviera again this year for the (6th time) for MIDEM (Marchie Internationale du Disque et de L'Edition Musicale) where the BIG music people got together to sell, just as Hollywood film folk do in the Spring at Cannes. Griffey's stated objective: "To discuss marketing and creative concepts to enchance Black music worldwide, as we (Solar) sincerely feel that Black music is universal",

AND Bantam Books begins marketing the Jeff Rovin-written biography "Richard Pryor: Black and Blue" this month, right while Poor Richard is up to his "personals" while applications from what Black and White and other ethnic "insiders" described as the "weirdest sources you can imagine." This to replace Jim Brown, the Pryor-fired president of his Columbia Pictures-backed $41 million Indigo Productions Company. Stay tuned for the "down and dirty" details.

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WHO'S WORKING―RICHARD ROUNDTREE partners with BURT REYNOLDS in the upcoming "Kansas City Blues" along with CLINT EASTWOOD. Gotta be a hit! But KAYCEE won't see "TREE" or "BURT" or "CLINT." Universal is spending $1 million to build a Kansas City replica on its backlot.

DORIAN HAREWOOD is coming up in Columbia Pictures' "Against All Odds" due out March 22nd...and Orion Pictures' the "Private Benjamin" TV-er is on the "Cooter's Confession" segment of TV's "Dukes of Hazzard"...and D'URVILLE MARTIN, currently co-starring with GARY BUSEY IN "The Bear" filming on location in Atlanta, Ga., is also set for FRED WILLIAMSON's next Chicago-lensed "shoot-em up" titled "Silent But Deadly"...and BEVERLY TODD is busy. She's got roles in the "Return to Hannibal" segment of "Mississippi" and the "Payload" segment of "Blue Thunder"...and ROY CAMPANELLA, JR. is busy too. He just completed directing BILL COSBY AND JANE KENNEDY in commercials for Coke and Tab and is writing "The Hit and Rub Play" segment of the "Simon and Simon" TV show.

* * * * * * *

STRICTLY INSIDE INFO: MUHAMMAD ALI and CHER had the same day January 18th birthday celebration...but neither told today his/her age...There are 54,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild―about 5,000 of whom are able to make a year-to-year living at it...about 40 Black are able to make it...TV sets are ON in the average household about 7 hours and 2 minutes everyday...And, producers of that prime-time soap opera "Dynasty" have "leaked" the "feeler" that they are "hot" after MICHAEL JACKSON for a "continuing but limited guest starring role" for America's hottest performer because Michael "loves" the show.

So, of course, "it ain't what it ought to be, and it ain't what it's gonna be, but it sure ain't what it usta be!"

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD!!

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