Tattle: Donkey tale yanked

Michael Hazanavicius (left) won DGA honor for directing Penelope Ann Miller and Jean Dujardin in "The Artist."
Michael Hazanavicius (left) won DGA honor for directing Penelope Ann Miller and Jean Dujardin in "The Artist." (KEVIN WINTER / GETTY IMAGES)
Posted: January 30, 2012

WHEN ALL of Comcast's legal and financial minds got together to discuss a purchase of NBC, do you think any of them raised the hypothetical question:

"Do we have a corporate position on donkey semen?"

That was the question du jour for the media conglomerate after "Fear Factor" shot an episode this past summer in which contestants were challenged to drink a glass of donkey semen (and one of urine, you know, as a cocktail) and some of them did - because one's thirst for cash knows no limits.

Now, TMZ.com reports that the big bosses at NBC and Comcast have decided that the episode surpassed their level of bad taste and have spurned the sperm and yanked the episode before it airs tonight - which, we have to add, is a lot better job than yanking the donkey.

More awards

"The Artist" is continuing its quiet run to the Oscar.

The Directors Guild of America gave its feature-film honor Saturday to Michel Hazanavicius for his black-and-white silent charmer for which Tattle's hard-of-hearing dad exclaimed, "It's the first film I've understood in years!"

Hazanavicius, a virtual unknown in Hollywood until "The Artist," beat out a field of Guild heavyweights that included past winners Martin Scorsese ("Hugo") and Woody Allen ("Midnight in Paris") and past nominees David Fincher ("The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") and Alexander Payne ("The Descendants").

James Marsh won the film documentary prize for "Project Nim," his chronicle of the triumphs and trials of a chimpanzee that was raised like a human child. It was the latest major Hollywood prize for Marsh, who earned the documentary Academy Award for 2008's "Man on Wire."

Robert B. Weide won the TV comedy-directing award for an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," while Patty Jenkins earned the TV drama prize for the pilot of "The Killing."

The award for TV movie or miniseries went to Jon Cassar for "The Kennedys."

Other television winners were:

Reality programming: Neil P. DeGroot, "The Biggest Loser."

Musical variety: Glenn Weiss, "The 65th Annual Tony Awards."

Daytime serials: William Ludel, "General Hospital."

Children's programs: Amy Schatz, "A Child's Garden of Poetry."

Commercials: Noam Murro.

* Meanwhile, in Utah, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" won the grand-jury prize in the U.S. dramatic competition, and "The House I Live In" won the same honor in the U.S. documentary category, Saturday at Sundance.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" follows a girl named Hushpuppy who lives with her father in the southern Delta. The film also won the cinematography prize. Fox Searchlight acquired the film.

Eugene Jarecki's documentary "The House I Live In" examines the social, human and financial costs of the war on drugs. Jarecki won the same award in 2005 for his doc "Why We Fight."

Kirby Dick's documentary about rape in the military, "The Invisible War," won an audience award, as did Ben Lewin's "The Surrogate," which stars John Hawkes as a paralyzed man who hires sex surrogate Helen Hunt to help him lose his virginity. Fox Searchlight acquired that film, too.

* Kudos to Philadelphia actors Tony Luke ("Invincible") and Angela Boyd ("Rocky Balboa"), who got shout-outs in last night's local-actors segment on the Screen Actors Guild Awards.


* With Demi Moore withdrawing from the film "Lovelace," her role of Gloria Steinem will now be played by Sarah Jessica Parker.

Or as Us Weekly exclusively called her when they broke the story Friday:

Mary Louise Parker.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com