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Showbiz Tonight

Segregated `Survivor`; Cruise-Paramount War; Mel`s Phone Forgiveness

Aired August 24, 2006 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Selling the story of John Mark Karr.
And Mel Gibson gets on the phone for another round of "I`m sorries."

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.


HAMMER (voice over): On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a ""Survivor" stunner. The reality show divides tribes by race and the controversy explodes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was very gutsy. I think it`s going to be very interesting. But I think it`s potentially, you know, dangerous.

HAMMER: Tonight, can "Survivor" outwit, outplay, outlast the outrage over its new twist?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates.

Girls sold as sex slaves, and a man on the mission to expose it. Tonight, what changed everything for one Hollywood actor and director, why he couldn`t turn his back on a young girl`s horrifying journey, and the remarkable lengths he went to, to tell her story on film.


HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

A segregated "Survivor". This truly is the most talked about story of the day.

Outrage across the country after the hit reality show said it`s going to have contestants duke it out based on race. That`s right, race. CBS, the network behind the show, says it`s ready to push the envelope and take on the controversial twist.


HAMMER (voice over): Season 13 will feature 20 castaways split into four teams by ethnicity. There`s the white tribe, a black tribe, a Latino tribe and an Asian tribe.

"Survivor" knew it was going to get into hot water, and because the cast is banned from doing interviews until the season starts in September, CBS provided SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with this electronic press kit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was very gutsy. I think it`s going to be very pretty interesting. But I think it`s potentially, you know, dangerous.

HAMMER: Outwit, outplay, outlast and now outrage. It`s a social experiment that`s already drawing criticism. Even CBS`s own are not entirely on board. "The Early Show`s" Harry Smith told "Survivor" host Jeff Probst that there were groans from staffers on his program when they heard the news.

HARRY SMITH, "THE EARLY SHOW": I have to tell you, when I woke up early this morning and started reading through this stuff, I was stunned, and, quite frankly, I was dismayed.

JEFF PROBST, HOST, "SURVIVOR": You know, I think at first glance when you just hear the idea it could sound like a stunt, and especially with the way reality has gone it wouldn`t be unusual. But that`s not what we`re doing here.

HAMMER: CBS tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT the controversial twist was actually done to make the show more ethnically diverse . It says the show has been criticized in the past for being too white, telling us, "CBS fully recognizes the controversial nature of this format but has full confidence in the producers and their ability to produce the program in a responsible manner. `Survivor` is a program that is no stranger to controversy and has always answered its critics on the screen."

It`s certainly going to have a lot of people talking. Check out the reaction from Emmy host Conan O`Brien when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson told him about the shocking "Survivor" news.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Yes. Four different tribes, and each tribe...

CONAN O`BRIEN, TALK SHOW HOST: But I know you`re kidding, right?


O`BRIEN: That`s great.

ANDERSON: I`m being honest with you.

O`BRIEN: I think that`s appropriate in this day and age with all the tension and violence and conflict is to have a reality show where people duke it out over race and their religious belief. So they just put them in, like, the Gaza Strip?

HAMMER: Believe it or not, this isn`t the first time this idea has come up.


HAMMER: Donald Trump considered splitting up "Apprentice" teammates based on race last year. He quickly decided against it after realizing some people were not on board with the concept.


HAMMER: It really is such a tough concept for people to wrap their heads around.

So joining me tonight from Orlando, Andy Dehnart, editor of and Marc Lamont Hill from Temple University is joining us from Philadelphia to hash through all this.

All right, guys. There are certainly a lot of people who were walking around over the last 24, 48 hours since this news broke saying, "Are you kidding me?"

Now, we get that the show wants to be ethnically diverse, but Marc, by segregating them into four teams by race, I mean, is that such a good idea?

MARC LAMONT HILL, ASST. PROFESSOR, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: On a fundamental level I`m not convinced it`s a bad idea to divide people by race. You know, again, when -- when you think about American life, people are terrified to point out racial difference and to acknowledge the existence of race. So on that level I don`t have a problem with it.

My problem is that the people at "Survivor" have never done a good job of representing people of color, and so I`m not sure they will do a responsible job treating this issue.

HAMMER: Andy, they said they are going to be responsible, and the people at CBS trust the producers of "Survivor" to be responsible with how they edit the show. Of course we know reality shows are edited for maximum drama.

What do you think?

ANDY DEHNART, EDITOR, REALITYBLURRED.COM: Yes, I mean, that`s the problem, is that, ultimately, they are going to go for the most drama. And if that drama is -- has to do for racial tensions, or once the tribes merge, if they sort of stay divided by -- on -- along racial lines, then, you know, that does bring up an issue that wouldn`t have been there if they hadn`t divided them this way in the first place.

HAMMER: Yes. And to the -- you know, speaking of editing, Marc, a lot of people are saying that the producers are splitting up the contestants by race, of course, to provoke racial tensions. They actually want the usual competitive trash talking to devolve into racial slurs.

Of course, that`s all speculation, but that`s a real bad thing if that`s what ends up going down, isn`t it?

HILL: But it`s par for the course of reality television. When you look at reality television, like the initial reality television show, which is really "Real World," you look at how people were always stoked and provoked to say certain things, and certain creations were -- certain situations were contrived. And all throughout the history of reality television this happens.

So it wouldn`t be unusual for "Survivor" to do the same thing. In fact, "Survivor" has always done that over the 12 seasons that it`s been on.

HAMMER: I actually remember from the very first season of the "Real World," which a lot of people consider the granddaddy of reality shows, you know, race was very much at the forefront with one of the characters.

Andy, we just heard Jeff Probst, the host of "Survivor," saying it`s not a ratings ploy. Of course, everybody was very quick to say this is truly a stupt.

Now, the truth is "Survivor" ratings have dropped. You know, 21 million people used to watch this thing when it was first on. Now it`s down to about 16. That`s not bad, but obviously they do need to do things to keep it fresh. And I have certainly heard a lot of people over the last days saying, "I`ve never watched the show but I`m going to watch."

Do you buy that it`s not just a stunt?

DEHNART: Well, I mean, every single season, "Survivor" has been pretty good about introducing a new kind of twist to get people interested in the show again, because like you said, the ratings have sort of dropped a little bit, although it has remained a top 20 or at least top 10 show over its six-year history and over the past 12 seasons. But clearly, what they wanted to do was get the show back into the national conversation, which it hasn`t been for years now.

And instantly, just by announcing this twist, they got exactly what they wanted and probably will get, you know, higher ratings, for the first few episodes at least.

HAMMER: Yes and -- go ahead.

HILL: Yes, but that will -- but that will likely be it. I mean, if you look at what "FX" did in the spring when they had the show "Black.White," it was all over the headlines, everyone was talking about it, and it got record ratings for FX. And then two episodes later it was plummeting, sponsors were fleeing away from the show because it just didn`t do a very responsible job and it wasn`t very interesting to many people.

I expect the same thing to happen to "Survivor."

HAMMER: And we don`t know if, in fact, it will go beyond the first episode, because we saw last year when it was split up by age eventually -- actually, after the first episode, everybody was together.

Marc, I want to throw a quick scenario out at you, because one of the things that`s interesting about how all this went down for -- for the contestants who were involved in this particular show, Marc, is they did not know ahead of time what they were getting themselves into. So let`s pretend you were picked on the show, you pack your bags, you travel halfway around the world, and then, as it happened in this case, you`re told, "Oh, yes, we`re going to split you up by race now. You`re on the black team."

How do you react to that?

HILL: I think I`d be fine, because black people often identify themselves as being on the black team. You don`t need to go on reality television to know that you`re in -- you`re in a black tribe.

Every day in the social world, due to all kinds of social circumstances, black people see themselves that way. I think the tricky part will be with white people, who often are reluctant to identify as white. Whiteness is something that doesn`t get outed. And so to have a show where white people have to explicitly identify as white, that`s going to surprise and upset those contestants, most likely, and white Americans who are watching it.

HAMMER: And the dialogue will continue.

Marc Lamont Hill in Philadelphia, Andy Dehnart in Orlando, I appreciate you both joining us tonight.

DEHNART: Thank you.

HILL: Thank you.

HAMMER: If you want to see how all of this unfolds for yourself, the new season of "Survivor" makes its debuts September 14th on CBS.

And this brings us to you tonight`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s "Question of the Day." We want you to sound off on it. We had a lot of response.

New "Survivor" twist: Is it offensive to divide teams by race? Now, this is the question we asked you last night, and the vote didn`t go how you might think. Here`s how it`s been going so far: 43 percent of you saying yes, 57 percent of you saying no.

We got a lot of e-mail on the subject, too.

We heard from Jeremy in Connecticut, who writes, "This type of segregation or brutally blunt racism brought on by the people at `Survivor` is a major setback."

We also heard from Deb in Wisconsin. She writes, "Love the new idea for `Survivor.` Can`t wait for the merge after the individual tribes show their stuff. Awesome!"

Continue to vote, If you want to send us your individual thoughts, the e-mail address is

And I`ll read some more of your e-mails a little later in the show.

We want to let you know that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now be seen seven nights a week. You will find TV`s most provocative entertainment news show Monday through Friday and on your weekends as well. So please join us for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Saturday and Sunday, and each and every night, 11:00 p.m. Eastern, 8:00 Pacific.

So Mel Gibson is apologizing again. This time one on one over the telephone. We are going to tell you who Gibson is calling and how they are answering.

That`s coming up.

We`ll also have this...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We anticipate doing a movie on John`s life.


HAMMER: John Mark Karr`s trial hasn`t even started, but the wheels already in motion for a movie.

Coming up, a look at how Karr`s story is made for TV.

Plus, girls sold as sex slaves and a man on a mission to expose the truth. Coming up, we`ve got the remarkable lengths a director went to, to tell one girl`s unbelievable story on film.

First, here comes tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz".

What`s the highest-grossing documentary ever? Was it A, "Bowling for Columbine"; B, "March of the Penguins"; C, another Michael Moore movie, "Fahrenheit 9/11"; or D, "An Inconvenient Truth," the Al Gore Film?

Hang around. We are coming straight back with your answer.


HAMMER: Once again, tonight`s "Entertainment Weekly" "Great American Pop Culture Quiz."

What`s the highest-grossing documentary? Is it, A, "Bowling for Columbine"; B, "March of the Penguins"; C, "Fahrenheit 9/11"; or perhaps D, "An Inconvenient Truth"?

The answer -- please reveal it -- C, "Fahrenheit 9/11". That`s a Michael Moore film that has made more than $222 million worldwide.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

And it`s time now for a little story that made us say...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: "That`s ridiculous!"

HAMMER: All right. Nothing like some monkeying around for a good laugh. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gabob (ph), you must help me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You come to me on my daughter`s wedding day and say I must help you. But have you ever once invited me into your house for coffee or savory sponge cake?


HAMMER: I love monkeys. And those are monkeys doing "The Godfather." It`s called "Monkey Minutes," 60-second shorts complete with chimps acting out scenes from hit flicks like "Austin Powers," "Ghost," "Die Hard," and many more.

If you go ape for this kind of stuff and you love monkeys like me, you will find it on AOL`s In2TV broadband channel.

But still, we think it`s bananas and say, "That`s ridiculous!"

Well, it is day two of Tom Cruise`s war of the words. And, what`s this? Mel Gibson is pulling out his phone, and you won`t believe who he`s been reaching out and touching.

Joining us tonight from Glendale, California, Harvey Levin, the managing editor of the entertainment news Web site

Hello, Harvey.


HAMMER: All right. Let`s deal with Tom Cruise right away here.

You know, stars and studios, they break up all the time. Usually not a lot of fanfare, maybe a press release that goes out, say, "We`re parting ways," whatever the reason.

This is totally different. You have Sumner Redstone, who is the head of the company that runs Paramount Studios -- not the head of Paramount Studios, but the head of company that runs Paramount coming out swinging with some personal statements against Tom Cruise.

This is like a big bltattle of the egos, isn`t it?

LEVIN: It`s a big battle of the egos. And frankly, it`s really kind of amazing.

At first, I thought that Tom Cruise must have said something that totally ticked Sumner Redstone off. I don`t believe that anymore. What I`m hearing is Sumner Redstone just wanted to flex his muscles, and basically he did this without telling any of his people at Paramount that he was about to completely antagonize Tom Cruise.

A.J., what`s really funny about this is that Sumner Redstone said, "We don`t want someone behaving badly who works for Paramount." Well, the guy who runs his movies -- his movie division is under federal investigation for illegal wiretapping. So kind of interesting.

HAMMER: Yes, good point to make there.

And, of course, everybody is talking. And everybody has something to say.

Burt Fields, who is Cruise`s lawyer, you know him, I know him. This is a guy who chooses his words extremely well, and he said of Sumner Redstone -- and I want to quote it now -- that he`s lost it completely, or he`s been given breathtakingly bad advice.

So what you were saying kind of alludes -- alludes to that.

LEVIN: It does. And, you know, let me take the other side now.

The other side is Tom Cruise has behaved kind of like a nut case over the last year. So what Sumner Redstone is saying in some ways does have validity because Tom Cruise is really too risky business, if you will, to really carry a movie and that kind of money on the line for Paramount Studios. He`s just alienated too many people.

HAMMER: Yes. In fact, an executive for the company that calculates those Q (ph) scores, determining how popular stars are, says that Cruise`s positive perception has fallen about 40 percent in the last year. But listen to this. His negative perception has jumped nearly 100 percent.

You`ve got to believe somewhere in that Cruise mansion, along with baby Suri and Katie Holmes, if they are indeed really there, they`ve got to be freaking out a little bit in trying to see how they should fix this.

LEVIN: You would think, but I think not. And the reason I say that is, Pat Kingsley, who is his longtime publicist who he canned a year ago, really kept Tom Cruise under wraps and made him look like a real normal guy. As soon as he fired her, he became Tom Cruise.


LEVIN: And he was kind of nutty. And in some ways this is vindication for Pat Kingsley.

But I think Tom Cruise is happy with who he is, and he`s to the point where I think he`s basically looking at the world and saying, you`re all crazy.

HAMMER: Yes, and I`ll do whatever the heck I want. And as you mentioned, publicist Pat Kingsley coming out shining here.

All right. Let`s move on to this thing about Mel Gibson.

Explain what`s going on here. You`re hearing that Mel is actually calling Hollywood heavyweights personally and actually begging forgiveness? Do I have that correct?

LEVIN: Yes. So he`s almost kind of going door to door to all the Jews, if you will. I mean, what he`s done is initially he said he was going to kind of make good with the Jewish community. He`s picking up the phone and he`s calling a lot of the executives in Hollywood who he`s worked with in the movies and he`s saying, "Look, I really apologize with what I did. I`m dealing with my problem," he said.

And I know of at least two people who he called who aren`t really picking up what he`s putting down. They are just not buying it. They don`t believe it`s sincere.

That is not to say that everybody feels that way, but some of Hollywood remains unconvinced.

HAMMER: Well, I haven`t heard from him yet, and I don`t think you have either, Harvey.

LEVIN: Have not. Have not.

HAMMER: Harvey Levin from

Thanks, as always.

LEVIN: Bye, A.J.

HAMMER: Time for tonight`s "Showbiz Showcase."

"Marie Antoinette," starring Kirsten Dunst, the classic story of a naive young woman who becomes the queen of France at the early age of 19.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with your first look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Friendship between Austria and France must be cemented by marriage. My youngest daughter Antoine will be queen of France.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it a custom that the bride retain nothing belonging to a foreign court?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You represent the future. All eyes will be on you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looks like a child.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, I`ve heard you make keys as a hobby.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will be interesting to see how long she lasts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What on earth is going on with that young couple?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This, Madame, is Versailles.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve heard the queen has a somewhat artistic temperament.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not too much, is it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She spends like mad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People in France are hungry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The king and queen are complete (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t they ever get tired of these ridiculous stories?

How (ph) do you do something?

I`m not going to acknowledge it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was in the shrubs at dawn with various men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She has quite a reputation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s a terrible queen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Letting everyone down has been my greatest unhappiness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Bastille fortress was stolen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a mob of hundreds on their way.


HAMMER: Marie Antoinette comes to theaters October 20th.

Well, an "American Idol" finalist is robbed at gunpoint. I`m going to tell you what happened coming up next.

We`ll also have this...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not profiting from anything. He`s not getting any of the money.


HAMMER: John Mark Karr`s trial hasn`t even started, but the wheels are already in motion for a movie. Coming up, a look at how Karr`s story is made for TV.

Plus, surviving Katrina. As the one-year anniversary of the devastating hurricane approaches, one of the first responders is telling his story in a new documentary. He`s going to tell us what he saw coming up.

But first, here`s a look at what`s new at your local movie theaters this coming weekend.

Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear hit the field in "Invincible". Now, this is a true story about a teacher who makes his professional football dreams come true.

"Idlewild," two 1930s musicians who have to deal with gangsters want to take over their club. Big ensemble cast in this one, Big Boi and Andre 3000 from Outkast, Cicely Tyson and Oscar-nominee Terrence Howard.

And one we probably all read growing up, "How to Eat Fried Worms". A boy stands up to a bully`s challenge and eats 10 worms in one day.

But who hasn`t?


HAMMER: Tomorrow, the 58th annual Emmy Awards just a couple of days away. We`re going to see who the favorites are, and we`ll also chat with Emmy host Conan O`Brien.

Plus, the controversy about all those lavish goody bags that the stars love.

That`s tomorrow on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

"American Idol" finalist Mikalah Gordon is said to be a little shaken up after being robbed at gunpoint in Las Vegas. Mikalah`s mother says that she and a male friend were robbed by at least four people on a Vegas sidewalk.

Now, the robbers only got Mikalah`s cell phone and five bucks. Her mother says she wasn`t physically harmed but is "in a panic since the incident." Las Vegas police are investigating the robbery.

Girls sold as sex slaves and one man on a mission to expose the truth.

Coming up, a truly remarkable story about the lengths a director went through to tell one girl`s unbelievable story on film.

We`ll also have this...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We anticipate doing a movie on John`s life.


HAMMER: It`s true. John Mark Karr`s trial hasn`t even started, but the wheels are already in motion for a movie.

Coming up, a look at how Karr`s story is made for TV.

Plus, the lovely Raven-Symone stops by. She`s going to share her thoughts on body image in Hollywood and marching to the beat of her own drum.

Raven-Symone is coming up in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Thursday night coming right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. You are watching TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.

And still to come tonight, Disney superstar Raven-Symone`s going to drop by. She has some very candid things to say about body image in Hollywood. And she`s going to tell us what she thinks about other stars her age. Does she like their antics? Does she really care what they`re doing? You`ll find out in the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Also tonight, girls sold as sex slaves. This is truly unbelievable. And there`s one man who`s on a mission to expose the truth about what`s actually going on. You`ll find out about the remarkable lengths this one particular Hollywood director went to tell one girl`s unbelievable story on film. That is still to come.

But first tonight, a bizarre story that truly continues to baffle everybody. John Mark Karr, the man who faces charges in the death of 6- year-old JonBenet Ramsey, the man who said in front of the cameras he wasn`t innocent. And now we`re hearing that Karr`s relatives are trying to sell the book and movie rights to his story.

The outrageous thing about all of this - this peddling of a picture even before trial, is something we`ve seen before.


HAMMER (voice-over): From Bangkok, Thailand, to a jail in California, to the crime scene in Colorado, fascination with John Mark Karr has spread worldwide. And Karr`s family is hoping that Karr and his bizarre confessions.

JOHN MARK KARR, SUSPECT IN DEATH OF JONBENET RAMSEY: I love JonBenet and she died accidentally.

HAMMER: .will get Hollywood`s attention as well.

LARRY GARRISON, WORKING WITH KARR FAMILY: We anticipate doing a movie on John`s life, a book.

HAMMER: The author of "Newsbreaker," producer Larry Garrison, has been hired by Karr`s brother and father to help them shop the book and TV rights to Karr`s story.

GARRISON: The mere fact that he`s coming forward and saying the most outrageous things - that he was - he - that he committed the crime. For all intents and purposes, I - it`s shocking. He`s not profiting from anything. He`s not getting any of the money. If any money is made off of this, it will go to John Mark Karr`s sons for their college education.

HAMMER: Garrison says even though no money has changed hands, the film and book rights to Karr`s story have been secured.

So John Mark Karr could be the latest figure in the criminal case to go from a round-the-clock news obsession to a primetime TV sensation.

Today, crimes get made into movies almost as quickly as they go to trial. And people watch them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can`t put me in jail. They can`t do that!

HAMMER: In 1995, the O.J. Simpson case was made into a TV movie months before there was a verdict in the trial. FOX`s "The O.J. Simpson Story" was watched by 11 million households.

The case of Scott Peterson, who was convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci, was made into two movie movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife went missing.

HAMMER: One, USA Network`s "A Perfect Husband," got 5 million viewers. The other was told from the point of view of Peterson`s mistress, Amber Frey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not a story! It`s my life!

HAMMER: That movie, CBS` "Amber Frey: Witness for the Prosecution," drew 7 million.

And then there`s the Long Island Lolita herself, Amy Fisher.


HAMMER: She`s the teenager who had an affair with, and then shot the wife of, Joey Buttafucco. That sordid tale spawned not one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have great sex.

HAMMER: .not two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joey Buttafucco said I should come see you.

HAMMER: .but three network TV movies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had an affair with a married man.

HAMMER: Two of them even aired on the same night. All told, a combined 49 million viewers watched them.

LYNNE WHITE, HOST, COURT TV`S "HOLLYWOOD HEAT": I think fact is really stranger than fiction.

HAMMER: Lynne White, radio personality of Court TV`s "Hollywood Heat," tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that people flock to true crime movies, and that John Mark Karr`s story could be tailor-made for Hollywood treatment, depending on how it turns out.

WHITE: If this guy is innocent, I think the interest wanes; I think here you have just another what my listeners and viewers call "a nut job."

If he in fact is guilty of this heinous crime, and finally the killer of little JonBenet Ramsey is brought to justice, you have a super powerful story, and a great book, and an incredible movie.

HAMMER: But there`s the thing: we don`t know how this story will turn out. So for now, the John Mark Karr is just a movie without an ending.


HAMMER: Now to be clear, producer Larry Garrison tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that Karr`s family is not looking to get rich from selling their story. He says they want to use the money to pay for Karr`s defense, and his kids` education.

Well, now let`s move on to another story about sick and disgusting things involving kids all over the world: the child-sex trade.

Actor Michael Cory Davis was filming a movie in Bulgaria, when he was - he was invited to a fundraiser which was designed to raise awareness about this horrific issue. He was so moved by what he heard and saw, that he actually wrote and directed a film about one particular film.

"Svetlana`s Journey" won awards. Because of the response, Michael made another sex-trafficking film called "Cargo: Innocence Lost."

Joining me from Hollywood, Michael Cory Davis. I welcome - a pleasure to welcome you to the show.


HAMMER: You know, Michael, just saying "sex trafficking of kids," it is such a sick phrase in and of itself. People hear it, but I don`t think they`re actually aware of - of what it is.

What is it that you`ve captured, and that you have seen taking place?

DAVIS: What I see is something that has - that`s happening all around the world, and it`s the same thing. It is traffickers going to poor - poor villages and - and places where the kids and women are underprivileged, and lying to them, manipulating them, getting them to believe that they`re going to get a better life in this country or in another country. And then bringing them over, raping them, stealing their identity, their paperwork, their passports, their birth certificates, manipulating them emotionally and mentally by threatening their families, and in many instances and in many countries, actually killing family members and friends.

This is, like, straight out of a - a - a - a movie. And unfortunately, it`s not fiction. It is fact, and it`s happening in this country and all around the world. It is sick and disgusting; you described it correctly.

HAMMER: Yes, I mean, it makes my blood boil just hearing about it. And I think it`s going on in a much larger scale than - than people can possibly imagine, isn`t it?

DAVIS: Well, you know what? The thing is is that, you know, we as Americans really living - we`re really looking at this from behind a - a -a very dark curtain. We`re not seeing through the veil. And that`s unfortunate, because this is the kind of crime that`s happening literally in every neighborhood across the nation.

It`s the kind - it`s - it`s disheartening, actually, because we as Americas I think would really do something more to stop it if we knew what the signs were to - to - to see it.

HAMMER: Well, what`s terrific is that you`re actually doing good with your documentary. I know that you`re actually taking the films overseas to show young girls what they may be facing.

And you`re - I understand you`re finding out that they`re more aware of Hollywood culture than what could possibly be happening to them and what they may be facing with the sex trafficking?

DAVIS: You know, I always say this. It`s - if you - I love my industry. I love Hollywood. But the thing is, is that I find that right now we`re - we`re not doing enough as artists and as an industry on a whole to promote the things that are most relevant in society.

So if I go to Indonesia right now and talk to a young child in a village, even if there are no televisions and radios there, it`s - it - I have - I stand a better chance for that girl to tell me what Paris Hilton did last night or what club she was at than tell me how she could be preyed on by a sex trafficker. And she, in fact, is a - you know, is one of the potential victims.

HAMMER: You`re kidding me.

DAVIS: She`s the target.

HAMMER: So - so - so in a - in a third world nation, they`re rattling off names of figures in our pop culture, yet they don`t know that they`re a target of this potential atrocity?

DAVIS: Exactly. And to think - and that`s the reason why I do these kinds of films. I - I put blame on no one else. I only - I take a responsibility as myself as an artist.

The thing is, is that it`s so easy to promote the bling-bling lifestyle. And it`s OK; if you work hard, you buy - buy whatever you want. But as artists, and as - as - as an industry like Hollywood, where everyone looks at us, it`s very important for - for - for all of us to take the responsibility now and start to promote things that are going to make people`s lives better.

We can - we can make films that are entertaining, but at the same time enlightening and educational, such as "Cargo: Innocence Lost," or any of the other multitude - multitudes of films that have been coming out recently, like "Hotel Rwanda".


DAVIS: .and such.

HAMMER: No, there`s no question that there - there has to be a balance, and I applaud you for your responsibility with these issues.

Michael Cory Davis, I really appreciate you joining us.

DAVIS: Thank you.

HAMMER: And if you`re interested in checking out these films, just check out his Web site. It is

A reminder now: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now be seen seven nights a week. You`ll find TV`s most provocative entertainment news show on your weekends. So make sure you join us for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Saturday and Sunday and each and every night, Monday through Friday as well, 11 p.m., 8 Pacific.

Remember everything you learned about the solar system in elementary school? Well, I want you to toss it out of this world, because it`s all changing. "That`s Ridiculous!," and that`s coming up next.

We`ve also got this.


DR. GREG HENDERSON, KATRINA SURVIVOR: I had a sixth sense that everything I loved about New Orleans was about to go away in a very big way.


HAMMER: Can you believe it`s been about a year now since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast? Time has certainly passed. Well, a doctor who treated thousands at the New Orleans Convention Center is out with a gripping documentary of what he saw. We`ll talk to him coming up next.

And super-popular Disney star Raven-Symone is here with some very candid things to say about body image in Hollywood and what she think about other stars her age.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dissolve. Make your move, 3. Stand by to your break, Master. In 3, 2 - it`s OK.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

And it`s time once again for another story that made us say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

Now I want you to forget everything you learned back in elementary school. At - at least about the little devices that you used to remember the order of the planets, because Pluto no longer a planet.


HAMMER: Yes, it`s a terrible thing. The International Astronomical Union fought for a week, and today it adopted historic new guidelines as to what is and what is not a planet. Pluto did not make the cut.


HAMMER: Everybody`s truly very upset by that here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. That`s all because Pluto has an oblong orbit, and apparently it overlaps with Neptune`s or something technical like that. So now it`s called a "dwarf planet."

Pluto was discovered in 1930; I would say still a good 76-year run as a planet. But today, no more. And that`s why we say, "That`s Ridiculous!"

Well, on August 29 a year ago - which is hard to believe that so much time has already passed - Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The nation is still smarting from that.

Dr. Greg Henderson was the one and only doctor at the New Orleans Convention Center when the storm hit. He stayed behind to help more than 20,000 New Orleans residents who were stranded there. And he`s telling his amazing story in a new Discovery Channel documentary, which is called "Surviving Katrina."

Dr. Greg Henderson`s joining us now from New Orleans. A pleasure to welcome you to the show.

HENDERSON: Thanks. How are you?

HAMMER: I`m well, thank you very much.

So here we are with the one-year anniversary of Katrina approaching. Even today - I know for me and for a lot of people I talked to, one image that a lot of us remember is of the people trapped in that convention center. Of course, this coming from an outsider`s perspective.

You were right there inside. What has stayed with you the most, Doctor?

HENDERSON: Well, what`s stayed with the most probably is two images: that image of all manner of humanity really cast upon the shores of the convention center, little babies, all the way up to older individuals in wheelchairs; and I think the image that haunts me more than anything is the rows and rows of handicapped people that were basically just wheeled up - cast aside, if you will - to sit there for days on end in the heat with absolutely no water or any support at all.

HAMMER: Yes. Words - it`s hard to find the right words to describe.

HENDERSON: It really is.

HAMMER: .even - the images that - that we say, and that you were present for.

You did some amazing work, and - and you were lucky enough to get your family out of New Orleans, I know. Your home was on higher ground.

But you, in fact, stayed. You did help and set up the clinics with the police there, and then you found the convention center. And that`s really when your personal help in this process sort of unfolded.

How did you personally survive and help others at the same time? Because it wasn`t easy for you, either.

HENDERSON: Well, it wasn`t. And I think looking back on it, you know, a year from now - year later - I wonder, you know, How did I do all that? I think it`s one of those peculiar situations where, you know, you - you run on adrenaline. You - you tap into your medical training.

And, you know, quite honestly, it`s the - the - the drive of people all around you suffering. It`s very hard to sit down and - and - and - and take a break when there are 20,000 people who really need you. You just got to keep going until the job is done. And after about three days, fortunately, we had an evacuation of all those people. But for three long days, it was - it was probably the three longest days of my life.

HAMMER: I imagine.

And we were just seeing some footage of you with CNN`s own Anderson Cooper. I actually understand that in the midst of all of the difficulty you were having, he actually lent a hand to you.

HENDERSON: He actually did. Anderson fed me my first meal in - in several days after we did an interview. He heated up some beef stew and topped it off with some scotch, and nothing tasted better, I guarantee you.

HAMMER: Well, Anderson was one of the voices of the outrage and all the anger a year ago when all of this happened. And it`s something that I know a lot of people obviously still feel.

But do - do you think, Doctor, that we`ve gotten a bit complacent now that the time has passed?

HENDERSON: Well, perhaps the rest of the country has - has - quote "moved on" - and - and that`s very unfortunate, because here in New Orleans, all you have to do is take a quick look around the Ninth Ward, really anywhere beyond the - the - the older part of the city, and recognize that we have so much more to do here.

You know, repairing the city from Katrina is like climbing Mount Everest. And we really haven`t even made the first base camp yet.

HAMMER: Well, again, I commend you for the work that you did, and - and the - the documentary is a must see to get a real sense of - of what you actually went through.

Dr. Greg Henderson, thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

HAMMER: And you can catch the two-hour documentary "Surviving Katrina" Sunday night on the Discovery Channel.

Well, Raven-Symone is only 20 years old, but you can already her a Hollywood mogul. She has her own merchandise; she has a long-running show on the Disney Channel called "That`s So Raven"; and a new movie called "Cheetah Girls 2." You probably remember the original "Cheetah Girls." She even has an upcoming production company.

Well, I had the chance to sit down with Raven-Symone, and I asked her about staying out of trouble, her new movie, and all those pressures on young Hollywood women to be thin.


RAVEN-SYMONE, ENTERTAINER: I`m a strong believer in being yourself. You don`t have to look like, you know, the people you see in magazines or the people see on - you see on television to be beautiful, even though that`s what people say is beautiful.

And I think that`s why you have, you know, disorders at such young age - 5-year-old girls being careful about what they eat because their mama says, You don`t want to look like that person over there; you have to be sure you stay - you`re 5.

And, you know, I have my own pressures in Hollywood because of the size that I am. And it`s not even a bad size. I`m not obese, and I`m not major skinny. But I am healthy; I do an hour concert, no vocals underneath me, dancing the whole entire way. And that takes healthiness. I`m healthy, you know what I`m saying?

And - but it also, I do have to say, for - for everyone else, it`s - it`s how you want to portray yourself. Some people are happy with the way they are. Some people want that, because that does get you more jobs. So let`s not get it twisted.

HAMMER: But we need to see more people like yourself, either because of how they`re speaking out about it, or just how they`re looking and just being themselves, and not being obsessed with being rail thin, I believe.


HAMMER: (INAUDIBLE) of what a culture really is about.

RAVEN-SYMONE: And - and isn`t television supposed to reflect America, and what it really looks like?

HAMMER: Exactly.

RAVEN-SYMONE: But it`s going to take time, you know what I`m saying?

I think it was like that a long time ago, back in the Marilyn Monroe days, where it was beautiful to be voluptuous and fabulous and - and curvaceous. And I think even now, as the - the - the women in Hollywood are coming out - you know, you have Catherine Zeta Jones coming out. She`s so curvy. And you have JLo and Beyonce bringing it back.

And I think when you have the confidence, and you can just, you know - you know, throw up a hand to the people who are saying, that`s not beautiful. You`re like, but I am beautiful. And look at my sales to prove it.

HAMMER: Yes. Exactly.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Sometimes you got to show the money.

HAMMER: And - and speaking of the images that we`re seeing all the time. Look, you`re - you`re 20 years old now; you`re getting set to turn 21.

If I run down a list of some of the actresses or - or stars coming out of Hollywood around the same age as you - we think of people like Lindsay Lohan and the Olsens and - and Hailie Duff. And most of the time when I`m flipping open magazines, I`m seeing that they`re getting press for the wrong reasons, something you`ve been able to avoid.

But when you - when you see all that going on, and all the attention for the wrong things. Do you kind - kind of shake your head at that?


HAMMER: Because that`s not your world.

RAVEN-SYMONE: I can`t shake my head at someone else`s - of what they want to do with their life. That`s what they want to do, and sometimes it`s their choice, and sometimes it isn`t.

But at the same time, I don`t think it`s any of - it`s not anybody`s business of what I do. I know, I`m sorry. With all love and respect, I`m not going to tell anybody who I`m dating. I`m not, you know, trying to flaunt - you know, I`m - I`m on this diet, or I`m doing this, or I`m doing that. I think that`s something that I should keep personal.

That`s another way to keep saying in this world called Hollywood that we live in.


RAVEN-SYMONE: It`s just another way - you have to have something for yourself. Otherwise, you - your whole entire life will be a magazine, and you won`t have anything for yourself. A lot of people have self- destructed that way. And I don`t want to have that.

HAMMER: And also keeping the parents involved in - in your life is also a good thing.

"Cheetah Girls," the original, really laid the groundwork for "The High School Musical." That has gotten a lot of attention. And "Cheetah Girls 2," which is now coming out. So you guys number one; you were ahead of it.

But one of the great things about it is it`s the kind of a movie, as is "High School Musical," that parents aren`t afraid to tell their kids, Hey, watch this thing. You know, and we don`t have enough of that.

RAVEN-SYMONE: Disney Channel does. You know, "Cheetah Girls" are dealing with real issues, you know what I`m saying? You have guy issues. I mean, that`s something that all girls love.

But you also have that friendship conflict of - you know, I`m - I`m putting my life on the line for you, and you`re not giving me anything in return. How do I handle this as a young adult? I`m going to back away from the situation. That`s one of the smartest things anybody can do. And people are still learning as they grow up.

And I think that "Cheetah Girls," you know, shows that it`s important to have a dream, and to have hope, no matter if - what`s going on in the world. If you have a dream in yourself and you believe that you can do it, you can reach that.


HAMMER: As charming and lovely as she appears to be. Raven-Symone`s latest film, "Cheetah Girls 2," will air tomorrow night on the Disney Channel.

A reminder now that SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is now on seven nights a week. That`s right; we are bringing TV`s most provocative entertainment news show to your weekends. So please, join us, wouldn`t you? For SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Saturday and Sunday and each and every night, 11 p.m. Eastern, 8 Pacific.

Don`t go anywhere. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s coming right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

And we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." So far, thousands of votes. "New Survivor Twist: Is it offensive teams by race?" Let`s look at the vote: 43 percent of you say "yes"; 57 percent of you say "no."

Among the e-mails we got, one from Jill in Illinois. She thinks: "I believe it is only offensive if you take it offensively. It`s a twist in the show, that`s all."

We also heard from Tammy in New York. She writes: "How can segregating the teams by race promote unity in a country already divided? This idea is stupid."

You can keep voting by going to Or e-mail us at

Here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT in your "SHOWBIZ Marquee."

Tomorrow, the 58th Annual Emmy Awards just a couple of days away. Who are the favorites? I`m also going to chat with Emmy host Conan O`Brien. Plus, the Uncle Sam controversy about all those celebrity goodie bags. That`s tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, Martin Short with a brand new Broadway show called "Fame Becomes Me." It`s great. Britney Spears, Joan Rivers, even Judy Garland show up, sort of. Martin Short dishes how twisted celebrity culture can be tomorrow with me.

And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Glenn Beck is coming up next, right after the very latest from CNN Headline News. Thanks for watching.