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Entertainment News

Last Update on December 22, 2014 08:06 GMT

SONY HACK - ADMINISTRATION RESPONSE

HONOLULU (AP) -- Is the hacking of Sony an act of terrorism? It's a decision the White House has to make as it tries to figure out what to do in response to the attack, which it has blamed on North Korea. President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism. The president calls the hacking of the movie studio an "act of cybervandalism" -- as opposed to an act of war. Meanwhile, Sony is promising to release "The Interview" -- the movie that launched the entire international incident. The comedy involves a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader.

SONY HACK - CELEB REAX

NEW YORK (AP) -- Roselyn Sanchez says she understands how some people feel Sony's cancellation of the release of "The Interview" makes it look like the company and the country is "giving in" to a cyberattack. But the actress feels the most important thing is "safety first." As for those who feel that "The Interview" should be released no matter what to defy demands by the hackers, she says people should remember "this is just a movie, guys." Ryan Guzman says the invasion of privacy the Sony hacking caused "is a little bit crazy." But he says he doesn't have much to say on the subject except that he wishes "the hackers wouldn't do what they are doing."

SONY HACK - GOP REACTION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP says the best way to respond to the Sony hack -- is to buy a ticket to the movie "The Interview." The Republican party says supporters should buy a ticket to the movie -- if theater owners decide to show the film. In a letter to theater chain executives, GOP chief Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) says he's worried that a foreign government like North Korea is being allowed to decide which movies Americans can and can't watch. Priebus says while Hollywood and the Republican party have had their differences, the situation over "The Interview" is a matter of freedom and free enterprise.

SONY HACK - OTHER PLOTS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It isn't just Kim Jong Un. The North Korean leader is not the only world figure who has been targeted for being bumped off in some kind of crazy Hollywood plot. Others who have been targeted by Hollywood films include Queen Elizabeth II, Saddam Hussein and Pope Pius XIII. But unlike "The Interview," those other movies actually made it to the big screen. Sony has pulled "The Interview" in the face of threats by hackers. The White House has blamed the attack on North Korea.

SONY HACK - TOO SOON?

UNDATED (AP) -- It was a comedy that led to the whole Sony hacking to begin with. So is it poor taste to be cracking wise about the situation? So far, the answer seems to be "no." One of the first to mine the situation for comedy is Chris Rock. In promoting his movie "Top Five," Rock noted his movie was "very Korean-friendly" -- and that "there are no jokes about North Korea." It was Rock who, during an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" this fall, took pokes at making jokes about the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing. And this past weekend, SNL did a bit on "The Interview" controversy. One expert on the way the entertainment industry works suggests that some comedians are shying away from the issue because they don't want to become targets themselves.

Bobby Moynihan portrayed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on a Saturday Night Live skit. COURTESY: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..006 (12/22/14)>> 00:14 "out of here"

Bobby Moynihan

Bobby Moynihan portrayed Kim Jong-un on a Saturday Night Live skit, saying he wasn't going to bow to North Korean threats, as fake lazer targets trained on his chest. COURTESY: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..007 (12/22/14)>> 00:12 "it to January"

Mike Myers

Mike Myers reprised the role of "Austin Powers" villain Dr. Evil, joking that the leader of North Korea should have something better to do than try to kill a movie that poked fun at him. COURTESY: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ((mandatory on-air credit))

BOX OFFICE

NEW YORK (AP) -- With Sony putting "The Interview" on the shelf for now, the attention turns to the movies that are actually being released. The top one this past weekend -- "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." It took in $56.2 million over the weekend. It has pulled in $90 million plus opening on Wednesday. Number two is "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb." It took in just $17.3 million, well off the debut pace of previous versions of the movie franchise. Last week's top movie, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" was bumped all the way down to fourth, with just $8.1 million. The Fox release saw 67 percent of its week-one take burn off during week two.

There's no North Korea in Middle Earth. The AP's Jamie Friar reports movie-goers aren't staying home in the wake of terrorist threats against movie theaters.

<<CUT ..003 (12/22/14)>> 00:10 "no they won't"

Sound of Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan

Sound of Martin Freeman and Ian McKellan in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the number-one movie at the box office this weekend.

BILL COSBY - RADIO SILENCE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- He portrayed a person revered as America's dad. But these days, for Bill Cosby -- mum's the word. He has gone silent in the face of numerous allegations of sexual assault. And legal experts suggest that may be the best he can do at this point. While the public may be clamoring for Cosby to defend himself, Eugene Volokh of UCLA says speaking out may be the only thing to keep him from saying something that might be libelous. If that happens, Cosby could open himself up to new legal problems .

Rewind Time

December 22, 2014 08:06 GMT

Today is Monday, Dec. 22, the 356th day of 2014. There are nine days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Dec. 22, 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe rejected a German demand for surrender, writing "Nuts!" in his official reply.

On this date:

In 1775, Esek Hopkins was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman said in a message to President Abraham Lincoln: "I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah."

In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)

In 1910, a fire lasting more than 26 hours broke out at the Chicago Union Stock Yards; 21 firefighters were killed in the collapse of a burning building.

In 1937, the first, center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River was opened to traffic. (The second tube opened in 1945, the third in 1957.)

In 1944, former silent film comedian Harry Langdon (once considered a rival to Charles Chaplin) died in Los Angeles at age 60.

In 1968, Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower in a private ceremony in New York.

In 1977, three dozen people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Company plant in Westwego, Louisiana, exploded.

In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.

In 1989, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu (chow-SHES'-koo), the last of Eastern Europe's hard-line Communist rulers, was toppled from power in a popular uprising. Playwright Samuel Beckett died in Paris at age 83.

In 1992, a Libyan Boeing 727 jetliner crashed after a midair collision with a MiG fighter, killing all 157 aboard the jetliner, and both crew members of the fighter jet.

In 2001, Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and fellow passengers. (Reid is serving a life sentence in federal prison.)

Ten years ago: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, stung by criticism that he'd been insensitive to the needs of troops and their families, offered an impassioned defense, saying when he would meet wounded soldiers or relatives of those killed in battle, "their grief is something I feel to my core." Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to assault, more than nine months after slugging Colorado forward Steve Moore from behind during a game.

Five years ago: Assailants gunned down the mother, aunt and siblings of a Mexican marine who was killed in a raid that took out one of Mexico's most powerful cartel leaders. Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAHM'-uh-kehn soo) became the first defensive player voted The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year.

One year ago: Mikhail Khodorkovsky (mih-hah-EEL' khoh-dohr-KAHV'-skee), the Russian oligarch who'd crossed President Vladimir Putin and ended up in jail for 10 years, told a press conference in Berlin that he planned to devote his life to securing the release of the country's political prisoners. President Barack Obama and the vacationing first family temporarily skipped the beach in Hawaii to attend the Oregon State-Akron game at the Diamond Head Classic tournament in Honolulu. (Oregon State, coached by first lady Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, lost to Akron, 83-71.)

Today's Birthdays: Former House Speaker Jim Wright is 92. Actor Hector Elizondo is 78. Country singer Red Steagall is 76. Former World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz is 71. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Steve Carlton is 70. Former ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer is 69. Rock singer-musician Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) is 66. Rock singer-musician Michael Bacon is 66. Baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is 66. Golfer Jan Stephenson is 63. Actress BernNadette Stanis is 61. Rapper Luther "Luke" Campbell is 54. Country singer-musician Chuck Mead is 54. Actor Ralph Fiennes is 52. Actress Lauralee Bell is 46. Country singer Lori McKenna is 46. Actress Dina Meyer is 46. Actress Heather Donahue is 41. Actor Chris Carmack is 34. Actor Logan Huffman is 25. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jordin Sparks is 25. Pop singer Meghan Trainor is 21.

Thought for Today: "My mistakes are my life." -- Samuel Beckett (1906-1989).