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Quick Takes: A Stone cold firing?

February 28, 2013

Is Scott Weiland still the frontman of Stone Temple Pilots? Depends on whom you ask.

Early Wednesday, the other three members of that grunge-era holdover — guitarist Dean DeLeo, bassist Robert DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz — released a tersely worded statement declaring that they had "officially terminated Scott Weiland."

The firing came after what Rolling Stone recently described as "a rocky period" for the band, which, following a lengthy break, reunited in 2008 and toured heavily in support of a self-titled 2010 album.

Weiland — who's set to launch a solo tour in Flint, Mich., on Friday, reportedly playing material from Stone Temple Pilots' first two albums — issued his own statement Wednesday.

"I learned of my supposed 'termination' from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press," the singer wrote. "Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that's something for the lawyers to figure out."

—Mikael Wood

Ad campaign on ratings system

Concerned about a backlash against violent television shows and movies in the wake of several high-profile mass shootings, the entertainment industry is rolling out an advertising campaign it hopes will keep lawmakers off its back.

The goal of the initiative is to inform parents about the "many tools that can help them manage what their children see on television and at the movies." Among the groups backing the effort are the Motion Picture Assn. of America, National Assn. of Broadcasters, the National Assn. of Theatre Owners and the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.

The campaign will include spots on television promoting the TV and movie ratings system as well as information on how to block channels that parents may not want their kids to see.

But promoting the ratings system is not the only item on the agenda. Broadcasters, the group said, will work with the Associated Press and the Entertainment Industries Council to "develop public service initiatives related to mental health, including creating a style guide to help educate journalists, television and film producers, directors, and writers on mental health terminology."

—Joe Flint

Music producer writes book

Drummer-producer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of the Roots is adding "author" to his résumé.

Thompson announced Wednesday that "Mo' Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove" will be released June 18 by Grand Central Publishing.

The Roots are the house band for NBC's "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." They have released 12 albums and are a favorite of music critics.

Thompson, 42, has been a producer for Jay-Z, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu and John Legend. He has four Grammy Awards.

—Associated Press

James Brown estate deal nixed

The South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned a settlement divvying up the multi-million dollar estate of James Brown, saying a former attorney general didn't follow the late soul singer's wishes in putting together the deal.

Atty. Gen. Henry McMaster brokered a settlement in 2009 that split Brown's estate, giving nearly half to a charitable trust, a quarter to his widow, Tomi Rae Hynie, and leaving the rest to be split by his adult children.

But the justices ruled the deal ignored Brown's wishes for most of his money to go to charity. The court ruled the Godfather of Soul was of sound mind when he made his will before dying of heart failure on Christmas Day 2006 at age 73.

The court sent the estate back to a lower court to be reconsidered.

—Associated Press

State lawmakers decry Oscar host

Two female state lawmakers have condemned Oscar host Seth MacFarlane's comments during Sunday's awards presentation as degrading toward women and asked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to use better judgment in the future.

Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), who lead the Legislature's women's caucus, sent a letter to Academy President Hawk Koch, requesting that the organization disavow MacFarlane's behavior.

"On Oscar night, when Hollywood seeks to honor its best, Seth MacFarlane's monologue reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself," the letter stated.

They asked Koch to respond. Academy spokeswoman Toni Thompson had no immediate comment.

—Associated Press

Finally

On the road: "Morning Becomes Eclectic," the weekday music show on KCRW-FM (89.9), will broadcast live from the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, the week of March 11-15.

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