Seth Rogen, James Franco anger North Korean despot

Posted: June 27, 2014

IN "PINEAPPLE EXPRESS," Seth Rogen and James Franco angered a nasty drug lord and a corrupt policeman.

With their upcoming movie "The Interview," due in October, they've ticked off Kim Jong Un.

North Korea is warning that the release of the comedy about a plot to kill the country's dictator would be an "act of war."

If the U.S. government doesn't block the movie's release, it will face "stern" and "merciless" retaliation, an unidentified spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

He didn't mention the movie by name but was clearly referring to "The Interview," in which Rogen and Franco star as a producer and talk-show host who land an exclusive interview with Un and are then asked by the CIA to knock him off.

The "reckless U.S. provocative insanity" of mobilizing a "gangster filmmaker" to challenge the North's leadership is triggering "a gust of hatred and rage" among North Korean people and soldiers, the spokesman said.

They do realize it's not a documentary, right? And that "White House Down" and "The Manchurian Candidate" weren't about actual attempts to kill the president. And that the average North Korean won't ever know about the film or have a chance to see it. No one there has subscriptions to Variety and Netflix.

The only North Korean with that kind of deep interest in Hollywood movies was Un's father, Kim Jong Il.

Chris on trial

Attorneys for Chris Brown and prosecutors have been unable to reach a plea agreement in his assault case in Washington.

Prosecutor Kevin Chambers said yesterday that they offered a deal for Brown to plead guilty to simple assault and time served. But Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, says that defense lawyers and prosecutors couldn't agree on a statement of facts about what happened in October outside the W hotel.

Facts? They're such a nuisance.

Diane departing

Diane Sawyer is stepping down as anchor of ABC's "World News" on Sept. 2 after nearly five years in the job, to be replaced by her regular substitute, David Muir.

ABC also said yesterday that workaholic George Stephanopoulos will add the role of chief anchor for live news events to his current jobs as "Good Morning America" co-host and host of Sunday morning's "This Week."

Sawyer, 68, will remain at ABC News to concentrate on landing big interviews and doing prime-time specials. In other words, replacing Barbara Walters.


* Regarding Paul McCartney's recovery from a virus, we've got to admit he's getting better, he's getting better all the time.

His tour is set to resume July 5 in Albany, N.Y.

* MTV will reprise its former "Total Request Live" countdown show for a day with Ariana Grande.

The network announced yesterday that it will bring back the show next Wednesday at 7 p.m., as essentially a commercial for Ariana.

* That didn't take long.

Following the release of a contentious Playboy interview, Gary Oldman has apologized for defending fellow actors Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin from critics of their controversial remarks about Jews and gays.

"I am deeply remorseful that comments I recently made in the Playboy Interview were offensive to many Jewish people," Oldman wrote in an open letter to the Anti-Defamation League late Tuesday. "Upon reading my comments in print - I see how insensitive they may be, and how they may indeed contribute to the furtherance of a false stereotype."

In his apology letter, first reported by, Oldman wrote, "I hope you will know that this apology is heartfelt, genuine, and that I have an enormous personal affinity for the Jewish people in general, and those specifically in my life."

* When U.S. authorities charged Dominican singer Ramon Galvez with involvement in a drug-trafficking ring, he insisted they were mistaking him for another man.

Eight months later, federal prosecutors say he was right.


* NBC's "The Biggest Loser" has lost another 100 or so pounds - for the third time.

Trainer Jillian Michaels is again leaving the show, NBC and the producer of the weight-loss competition series said yesterday.

Her replacement was not announced.

* The Nazi-themed music video ("Indonesia Bangkit," or "Awakening Indonesia") supporting a candidate in next month's Indonesian presidential election is causing outrage at home and abroad.

The video is based on Queen's "We Will Rock You." It shows musician Ahmad Dhani wearing a fascist-style uniform and holding an Indonesian Garuda bird emblem that resembles the Nazis' imperial eagle.

According to Germany's Der Spiegel, the military togs are similar to the uniform worn by SS commander Heinrich Himmler.

The video was uploaded on YouTube as a campaign song for Prabowo Subianto, a former army general who has been accused of abducting pro-democracy activists in 1998 and instigating deadly riots.

Brian May, Queen's lead guitarist, has waded into the controversy, saying "of course this is completely unauthorized by us."

Michael Jackson's nephews and heirs to his musical talent say they are ready to take up MJ's legacy, ending a 15-year hiatus prolonged by his dispute with Sony and untimely death.

Taj, TJ and Taryll Jackson, sons of Tito, one of the original Jackson Five, are preparing for a European tour this fall and are working on a new album, they said in an interview on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week.

The only problem? Talent is not inherited.

- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

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