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Saturday - May 5, 2001
- Cartoon Network Bans Select Bugs Bunny Cartoons!
- New Trailers, Column, and Feature
- Writers Strike Resolved
- News Link of the Day - Shrek to Animate Cannes

Cartoon Network Bans Select Bugs Bunny Cartoons!
(by The Cartoon Network, under the control of the newly formed Turner Broadcasting System, is banning 12 Bugs Bunny cartoons from airing saying that the episodes are "too racially charged." The Wall Street Journal first issued the news, stating that most of the cartoons are from the 1930's and 1940's.

According to ABC News, "In an episode called 'All This and Rabbit Stew,' Bugs distracts a black rabbit hunter by rattling a pair of dice. In another episode, Bugs imitates a blackfaced Al Jolson. In another, he calls an oafish, bucktoothed Eskimo a 'big baboon.'"

The Cartoon Network is planning a "cartoon retrospective" event called "June Bugs," next month, featuring early Bugs Bunny cartoons. The 12 controversial works were originally going to be broadcast late at night with disclaimers, but the Cartoon Network reversed that decision and banned the cartoons all together.

In March, AOL Time Warner announced that it was merging the WB Broadcast Network and Turner basic cable networks, including the Cartoon Network, into one - the Turner Broadcasting System. Leadership of the Cartoon Network changed with the realignment.

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Jurassic Park IIINew Trailers, Column, and Feature
(by Two new trailers have been released to the Web. The first is for Final Fantasy and the second is for Jurassic Park III. The trailer for Jurassic Park III can also be seen on the widescreen attached to The Mummy Returns, which is currently in theaters. Links to these trailers have been added to the Digital Media FX Movie Trailers page.

In addition, Digital Media FX has released a new feature by Noell Evans titled Saul Bass: A Film Title Pioneer. You can also view Jim Hill's new column titled How to Get Your "Groove" On.

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Writers Strike Resolved
(by The Writers Guild of America announced yesterday evening that it had reached a tentative deal with studios for a new contract that would avoid a strike. The resolution brings hope that a contract between studios and the Screen Actors Guild can also be worked out to avoid an actors' strike after June 30 when the current contract expires.

Under the deal reached between writers and studios, writers will be given a greater respect within the movie making process. In addition, under the new agreement:

- FOX will be upgraded (in a two year period) to an official "Network" status meaning that writers get higher residuals (equal to CBS, NBC, and ABC) for FOX productions. This represents a 50% increase over current FOX residuals.

- Foreign television residuals have been uncapped. Writers will receive 1.2% of foreign revenues after the revenues have reached specified thresholds.

- Writers recieve 1.2% of the exhibitors payment for the future distribution of films and television programs over the Internet. This covers programs made all the way back to 1971 and in the future.

- Numerous cable residuals, made for TV series, etc. have also been increased (most by 20% or higher).

- Mandatory script publication fees of $5,000 per movie are to be paid to writers for DVD sales.

The contract is for three years and represents a $41 million gain for writers. In the respect area, writers will be allowed to attend cast readings and be on the set of the motion picture they wrote. Prior to this, writers were considered low on the totem pole and were usually never allowed on set or in cast readings. Directors must also hold creative meetings with writers before deciding to hire them. Writers will also be allowed to attend premieres, press junkets, film festivals, and cast & crew events. This is a major step to eliminating the "throw-away" profile writers have been given in the past and puts them on equal ground with other creatives.

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News Link of the Day - Shrek to Animate Cannes

According to BBC News:

"Shrek is not like any other cartoon. It is a big-budget fairy tale computer animation that makers DreamWorks hope will become a vehicle to box office glory.

The leading character is an ugly, fat and flatulent ogre who suffers from low self-esteem..."

Click here for the full story.

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