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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

Sept. 21, 2011 at 2:14 PM   |   Comments

Tony Bennett clarifies 9/11 remarks

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Beloved U.S. singer Tony Bennett has issued a statement insisting he loves his country despite saying "we caused" the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"They flew the plane in, but we caused it," Bennett, 85, said on Howard Stern's radio show this week when the interviewer asked the World War II veteran how the United States should deal with terrorists. "Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop."

His remarks were widely circulated in the media with many people criticizing Bennett for it.

"There is simply no excuse for terrorism and the murder of the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of the 9/11 attacks on our country," MSNBC quoted Bennett as saying in the statement. "My life experiences -- ranging from the Battle of the Bulge to marching with Martin Luther King -- made me a lifelong humanist and pacifist, and reinforced my belief that violence begets violence and that war is the lowest form of human behavior.

"I am sorry if my statements suggested anything other than an expression of my love for my country, my hope for humanity and my desire for peace throughout the world."


NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Matt Stone and Trey Parker say no film version of their hit Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon" is in the works, contrary to reports claiming there is.

"Mormon" was the first stage musical for Stone and Parker, the creators of the edgy animated comedy series "South Park." "Mormon" won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in June.

Featuring extensive profanity and scatological humor, "Mormon" tells the story of how two missionaries try to convert Ugandan villagers facing poverty and strife unlike anything the naive visitors could imagine. While one of the young men is overwhelmed, the second attempts to teach the villagers about God in a way to which they can relate, inspiring them to hope for better lives.

"We did a stage show and it worked out way better than we ever thought, and we'd like it to be that for a while, you know, without contaminating it with a movie," Parker told The Hollywood Reporter when asked to address reports saying a film version is on its way.

Parker told the entertainment industry trade newspaper the story about a film adaptation started circulating after a reporter asked him and Stone if they would ever consider bringing the musical to the big screen.

"We said, 'Yeah, I think we could do a 'Book of Mormon' movie,' and they were like, 'Book of Mormon Movie!' It's coming!'" Parker said.


Spiner, Wheaton guest star on 'Big Bang'

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- "Star Trek: The Next Generation" stars Wil Wheaton and Brent Spiner are to guest star as themselves on the U.S. sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," CBS said.

The actors will appear on the Oct. 13 episode of the show.

"Sheldon makes Leonard choose -- their friendship or a party at Wil Wheaton's house. Tough one," said in a synopsis from CBS, which describes Wheaton as Sheldon's "old nemesis."

Johnny Galecki plays Leonard on the series. Jim Parsons won an Emmy Sunday for his portrayal of Sheldon on the sitcom about a pair of brilliant physicists whose lives are turned upside down when a free-spirited beauty, played by Kaley Cuoco, moves in next door.

Created by Chuck Lorre, the series is in its fifth season on CBS.


'Night' tops U.S. album chart

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" is No. 1 on the U.S. album chart, Billboard.com reported Wednesday.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 is Adele's "21," followed by Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" at No. 3, Brantley Gilbert's "Halfway to Heaven" at No. 4 and Staind's self-titled CD at No. 5.

Rounding out the top tier are the Beatles' "1" at No. 6, George Strait's "Here For a Good Time" at No. 7, Dream Theater's "A Dramatic Turn of Events" at No. 8, Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" at No. 9 and the Devil Wears Prada's "Dead Throne" at No. 10.

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