'Django Unchained' figures discontinued
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Weinstein Co. has asked a toy maker to discontinue a line of "Django Unchained" action figures after receiving complaints that they were offensive.
The studio said Friday that such collectibles have been created for all of director Quentin Tarantino's films, including "Inglourious Basterds," and that they were meant for people 17 and older, the audience for the film.
"Django Unchained" is a violent mix of spaghetti Western and blaxploitation genres about a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) who becomes a bounty hunter. Civil rights groups argued that the toys trivialized the horrors of slavery.
"We have tremendous respect for the audience and it was never our intent to offend anyone," The Weinstein Co. said in a statement.
Toyota settlement may signal future legal strategy
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Legal observers say recent settlements by Toyota Motor Corp. may signal the Japanese automaker would rather fight its battles behind closed doors instead of in a courtroom.
The company has been chipping away at settling lawsuits over sudden-acceleration issues. It has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve economic loss and some wrongful-death claims.
But the question remains whether attorneys who sued Toyota could prove to a jury there was a design flaw responsible for the dangerous problem.
Winfrey's Armstrong interview seen by 3.2M
NEW YORK (AP) — Oprah Winfrey's interview with Lance Armstrong is more than an illustration of a hero athlete tumbling from the heights. It's also a pivotal moment for a famous media figure trying to climb the ladder back up.
Winfrey's OWN network is showing signs of life after a rocky start, and the Armstrong interview offered a chance for many more viewers to check it out. The former Tour de France cyclist admitted to cheating with performance enhancing drugs throughout his career during the first half of the interview Thursday night.
That program was seen by a total of 4.3 million viewers in Thursday's back-to-back airings, OWN said Friday. But it drew only 3.2 million viewers in its first airing.
Archie joins Peyton in peddling pizza
DENVER (AP) — Peyton Manning figured one good Papa deserved another.
Manning's father, Archie, is joining his son as a Papa John's pitchman, spearheading the pizza chain's coin-flip promotion at the Super Bowl in the family's hometown of New Orleans.
While he was sitting out last season with his neck injury, Peyton Manning starred in a Papa John's Super Bowl commercial with Jerome Bettis. Manning was dressed up as a referee. "Hey, a man's gotta work, OK" he told Bettis.
After signing with the Broncos, Peyton Manning invested in 21 of the company's pizza stores in the Denver area. More recently, Papa John's approached Archie about being a spokesman for the Super Bowl promotion. Starting Sunday, fans can go online and choose heads or tails for the opening coin toss. The winners will get free pizza.