Today's News: Our Take


STICKS AND STONES...

Winona Ryder's publicist confirms that the Oscar-nominated actress and accused shoplifter broke her right arm during a mishap in court on Monday. Still, Ryder is expected back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing. read more

BIG PAYDAY

The American Arbitration Association has ordered direct marketer Traffix Inc. to pay former Miami Vice hotshot Philip Michael Thomas $2.3 million, ending an eight-year-old dispute over the company's use of the actor's name and likeness in infomercials. read more

SHRINK RAP

Singer-actress-diva Jennifer Lopez will play a psychologist for superheroes in the upcoming comedy Shrink. The film — which Lopez will also produce — is based on an Internet character created by ex-Marvel Comics illustrator Rob Liefeld. read more

BUSTED

R&B star R. Kelly was indicted today on child pornography charges. Prosecutors allegedly have a videotape showing the now-33-year-old singer committing various sex acts with a 14-year-old girl. If convicted, he faces a 15-year prison term and a fine of up to $100,000. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. read more

DIVERSITY UPDATE

Black characters are getting more air time on the small screen, but they continue to be relegated to sitcoms, a UCLA study found. "Despite the large number of African-Americans on television, they continue to be 'ghettoized,'" the study said. The situation for Hispanics, meanwhile, was far worse: They're the most underrepresented group in prime time, accounting for just 2 percent of all characters. Asian-Americans comprised about 3 percent, and American Indians were "invisible." read more

ARRESTING ME SOFTLY

Former Fugees singer Wyclef Jean was arrested Tuesday at a star-studded rally to protest proposed cuts in New York City school funding. Jean was one of 13 people arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Also attending the City Hall rally, but not busted: Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Jay-Z and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Mayor Bloomberg insists the budget cuts are necessary to bridge the city's $5 billion budget deficit. read more

SHORT CUTS

Sex and the City will kick off its fifth season on July 21, HBO confirms... Speaking of HBO, Sunday's premiere of The Wire earned a solid 7.0 rating... Despite John Lithgow's Tony win, Broadway's Sweet Smell of Success will close on June 15... Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has become the top-grossing first-week rental title of all time, making $19.1 million in its first five days in stores. read more

OPRAH'S ICE CREAM CLUB?

When Oprah Winfrey screams for ice cream, America listens. After Winfrey announced on her talk show Thursday that Graeter's ice cream "is the best ice cream I've ever tasted," mail order sales went through the roof. By Monday, the Cincinnati-based company — which has stores in Ohio and Kentucky — says it received more than 700 orders. read more

HANKS GETS LIFE

Two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks has been named the recipient of the American Film Institute's 30th Life Achievement Award. Steven Spielberg will present him with the trophy at a June 12 ceremony. The event airs June 24 on USA Network. read more

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE...

While TV may be lagging on the diversity issue, the film industry continues to make strides. The latest sign of progress: Fox has greenlit the first major-studio romantic comedy aimed at Hispanic moviegoers, Variety reports. Papi Chulo, which revolves around three women who seek revenge on a three-timing womanizer, stars Eduardo Ver&#225stegui, Roselyn Sanchez, Sof&#237a Vergara and singer Jaci Velasquez. read more

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