IF "INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS" sweeps the Razzies next year, can we all stop talking about it like it's a serious cinematic event?
Is every crackpot with access to YouTube now going to become a target of insecure political regimes?
On Wednesday, an Egyptian court convicted in absentia seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death - that's right, to death - on charges linked to the anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world.
The recent case and verdict has been seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the U.S., are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence.
And because ... it's insane?
Can we agree that sentencing someone to death over a movie - unless it's a snuff film in which people are actually killed - sort of prohibits you from being considered a 21st century country?
We've sat through some bad movies in our day, but we never had the urge to kill the filmmakers - only the guy behind us who talked through the whole movie.
The man behind "Innocence of Muslims," Mark Basseley Youssef, was among those convicted. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to one year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter.
Florida-based Terry Jones, another of those sentenced, is the Quran-burning pastor of Dove World Outreach, a church of less than 50 members in Gainesville, Fla. He has said he was contacted by the filmmaker to promote the film, as well as Morris Sadek, a conservative Coptic Christian in the U.S. who posted the video clips on his website.
Sadek denies having anything to do with the film.
Sounds like a wise move.
* Two-time Academy Award
winner Milos Forman ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Amadeus") is receiving the lifetime-achievement award from his peers at the Directors Guild of America.
Forman will be getting the guild honor at the directors union's awards ceremony Feb. 2.
In announcing the award Wednesday, guild President Taylor Hackford called Forman one of the greatest filmmakers of modern times, saying he finds the "universality of the human experience in every story."
Among Forman's other films are "Ragtime," "The People vs. Larry Flynt" and "Man on the Moon."
Forman is the 34th recipient of the guild honor, whose past recipients include Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Ingmar Bergman, Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.
* Alicia Keys said Wednesday
that her Black Ball event will now be held Dec. 6 in New York. The fundraising gala for Keys' charity, Keep a Child Alive, was originally set for Nov. 1 and had to be canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.
Black Ball REDUX will take place at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater. Honorees Oprah Winfrey and Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo will attend. Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Hudson and Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard will perform. Whoopi Goldberg will emcee.
Keep a Child Alive assists people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
* ABC is turning its first New
Year's Eve without Dick Clark into a celebration of his life.
Clark, who did the first annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve" special on ABC in 1972, died at age 82 in April. Fergie and Jenny McCarthy will be hosts of a two-hour tribute to Clark that will air at 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve.
ABC said Wednesday that the ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest will host the countdown show from Times Square, with the equally ubiquitous Taylor Swift, "Call Me Maybe" phenomenon Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Flo Rida and Pitbull among the musical guests. Seacrest hosted the past few years, with Clark making short appearances following his stroke.
Al Green, Helen Reddy and awesome Top 40 hitmakers Three Dog Night performed at Clark's first New Year's special.
* It Books has announced that
Bob Saget's currently untitled first book is planned for early 2014.
Family viewers know Saget for his role on "Full House" and as host of "America's Funniest Home Videos." The more daring like him for his stage act, where he's bleepin' filthy. According to It Books, Saget's book will offer the "full monty" of filth and craziness and stories of such comedians as Richard Pryor and Don Rickles.
* Us Weekly reports that Prince
William and Kate Middleton plan to become parents next year.
What do you bring to that baby shower?
* Us Weekly also says that Jessica Simpson is preggers again.
So all those millions Weight Watchers paid Jess to lose the baby weight? Do they get a refund?
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.