SO SORRY After weeks of controversy and pressure put on Paramount, the distributor of her upcoming TV show, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has publicly apologized for such antigay comments as calling homosexuals ”sexual deviants.” Some of the accusations against her are false, she said in a statement, but ”one inviolate truth is that I never intend to hurt anyone or contribute in any way to an atmosphere of hate or intolerance…. Words that I have used in a clinical context have been perceived as a judgment. They were not meant to characterize homosexual individuals or encourage others to disparage homosexuals.” After discussions with GLAAD, Paramount has stressed that her new syndicated show will feature guests with a wide range of opinions, and not those who just speak in the same ”clinical context” as Dr. Laura.
ADIOS Martin Short and Roseanne’s talk shows are about to be axed, according to Variety. The staffs of both low-rated programs have reportedly been told that their services will no longer be needed after this spring. Meanwhile, with their newfound free time, perhaps Short and Rosie can join up with fellow cancellees Howie Mandel, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Vicki Lawrence to form Magic Johnson’s bitterest intramural basketball team ever.
UNDER SUSPICION Atlanta police are investigating whether the shooting of five people in a limousine early Sunday morning was at all related to Tuesday’s bar fight in the same city in which Da Brat allegedly pistol-whipped a fellow clubgoer. Sunday’s shooting occurred in front of a gated apartment complex, when two men were apparently waiting with guns for the limo, according to Reuters. None of the passengers were critically wounded, and the reason Da Brat is being linked is because she lives in the same area.
WED Singers Amy Grant and Vince Gill were married Friday in Tennessee. According to the Associated Press, at the end of the ceremony a group of bagpipers played tunes that included the couple’s joint hit, ”How Great Thou Art,” ensuring that no one will ever complain about the original version again.
REEL DEAL Veteran production designer Bo Welch has developed the look for such distinctive films as ”Men in Black” and ”Batman Returns,” but what he REALLY wants to do is direct. And so he will have his chance, making his directorial debut with Mike Myers’s ”Sprockets,” in which Dieter travels from Germany to the U.S. to track down his stolen monkey.
TICKETHOLDER Finally, some justice for tobacco whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, on whose life the Oscar nominated ”The Insider” was based. A couple of weeks ago he complained that he was not invited to the Academy Awards. So ”Insider” director Michael Mann got him a ticket through Disney, and Wigand will be attending with ex-”60 Minutes” producer Lowell Bergman (played by Al Pacino in the film). After Wigand is asked a startlingly inappropriate question by Joan Rivers, he may wish he’d kept his mouth shut and stayed at home.
HOST SWITCH With Oprah Winfrey’s show leaving ABC for CBS in 2001 (the CBS corp. bought Oprah’s syndicator, King World), ABC has recruited ”20/20”’s John Stossel to create a new daytime talk show to fill the void. And if you’ve ever heard Stossel say, ”Hello, girlfriend!” you know he’s just made for this job.
BAD BLOOD Want a bad taste in your mouth? Then read on! Richard Pryor is seeking a restraining order against his 38-year-old son, Richard Jr., who has been pressuring his father to get conservatorship over the comedian’s will, according to AP. His son has also been arguing that Pryor’s wife, Jennifer Lee, has been spending all of her husband’s money, so there will be nothing left come will time. ”Richard has been and is fully in control of his own circumstances and voluntarily employes Jennifer Lee on a full-time basis as his agent and personal manager,” said the senior Pryor’s lawyer in a statement. ”He has the utmost trust and confidence in the work Jennifer does on his behalf.”