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Controversy swirls around Justin Timberlake once again

Plus: Lewinsky speaks out about Kerry rumors
/ Source:

ABC is running a special on Motown, and some African Americans are complaining to the network about its choice of co-host.

Justin Timberlake — along with Lionel Richie — is scheduled to co-host “Motown 45,” a two-hour special honoring the record label behind the careers of many of America’s best known black musicians, including the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and Smokey Robinson. It’s scheduled to be taped in April for a May broadcast, but protestors have been calling and emailing ABC to complain about the choice of Timberlake, sources tell The Scoop. They’re irate not only because Timberlake is not black, but also because they feel he let Janet Jackson take the heat for the infamous breast-baring Super Bowl incident, while he escaped relatively unscathed. The choice of Timberlake has also elicited some outrage from African-American pundits.

“Before the Super Bowl scandal Timberlake had gotten a ‘Black folks pass,’” Tanya Kersey, editor-in-chief of Black Talent News wrote on “But then he sold out Janet [Jackson] to save his own skin, showing his true colors in the process. It’s a classic case of profiting from black culture, but jumping ship when things get hot.  . . .And now Timberlake plans to co-host the ‘Motown 45’ television special?  I think not!”

Najee Ali, executive director of Project Islamic Hope, wrote, “The selection of Timberlake as co-host of this Motown special is a cultural insult to the black community.”

“There are some conversations and discussions going on regarding this matter,” an ABC spokeswoman Told the Scoop, “but we can’t make a formal comment at this time.”

Intern solidarity

LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 10: Monica Lewinsky and producer Brad Bessey attend the 1st AnnualVince Bucci / Getty Images North America

Monica Lewinsky has taken to the airwaves to speak out in defense of that other “intern.”

The woman who was at the center of the President Clinton’s sex scandal went on television in the U.K. on Friday and blasted unsubstantiated Internet rumors that a young woman was having an affair with presidential candidate John Kerry. Those rumors — which led to international headlines — have been denied by both the woman and Kerry.

“I really just felt empathic for the girl, the young woman, and for her family and at the same time I was really outraged because I thought once again we have politics dipping into someone’s personal life and whether it’s true or not, it shouldn’t matter. It should just be left alone,” Monica said on ITV news in the UK.

Lewinsky said the Clinton affair still haunts her. “Some days I think I’m great and I’m doing fine ... and other days I question a lot about my life. I have gotten through so much, and I have learned so much.”

A spokeswoman for Lewinsky tells The Scoop that the former intern wasn’t paid for the appearance—other than a fee to cover the “standard rate for hair and makeup” — and that she did the television appearance as a favor to a friend who was working on a show about privacy for ITV. “She called her and asked her if she could give a comment,” says the spokeswoman. “The whole privacy thing is near and dear to her heart.”

Notes from all over

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Model Naomi Campbell walks down the runway at the Carlos Miele Fall 2004 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week February 10, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Naomi CampbellCarlo Allegri / Getty Images North America

Tempestuous model Naomi Campbell reportedly walked out on a fashion show just hours before she was scheduled to appear. “Naomi, 33, was billed as the top model in Welsh designer Macdonald’s show,” according to the London Mirror. “But less than two hours before her planned catwalk appearance, Naomi cancelled leaving organizers at the £30,000 [about $56,000] show tearing their hair out.” . . . . . Not long ago, Tori Spelling’s was bandied about the Internet. Now, it’s her . . . .Look out Bill O’Reilly. Snoop Dogg wants to punch you out. The rapper tells Maxim’s March issue that he wants to fight the Fox TV host. The Scoop would print the rapper’s comments here, but if we delete the obscenities, there isn’t much left. So instead, here are Snoop Dogg’s comments on his thespian aspirations: “I’d like to get deeper into the acting sh--. Get bigger roles, work with bigger directors and bigger actors. I’d like to step out of all these urban roles, too, and maybe get myself an Academy Award or some sh--, you dig?”

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