Williams apologizes for Hall snub
February 20, 2014 10:40 AM

LOS ANGELES — NBC News anchor Brian Williams had a quick on-air response after Arsenio Hall needled him for excluding Hall from a video montage of late-night hosts: Oops.

“Arsenio is a late-night veteran and he took us to task on his show and he even urged his audience members to call our newsroom,” Williams said on his “Nightly News” telecast Wednesday from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“So, in apologizing to Arsenio we just wanted to point out: At least you’re in good company here,” Williams continued, noting that the newscast last year left New Hampshire off a map and on Tuesday misspelled Philadelphia on-screen.

Hall’s exclusion came during what he called NBC News’ “Brady Bunch montage” showing clips of virtually every late-night TV host, including David Letterman, Chelsea Handler and Carson Daly.

The video was used on Monday’s “Nightly News” segment on “The Tonight Show” debut of Jimmy Fallon, also on NBC.

On Tuesday’s syndicated “The Arsenio Hall Show,” the host was smiling but clearly irked as he displayed the graphic and called out Williams and journalism in general.

“If you’re doing a story about late-night, all I ask is that you mention me,” Hall said. “You don’t even have to use a photo. I know how journalism is these days. Use Samuel Jackson — it doesn’t even have to be my photo. Use Laurence Fishburne. Just mention me.”

Hall invoked the names of the two actors who were involved in another recent media mishap: A TV reporter interviewing Jackson apparently confused him with Fishburne. Both are black.

The late-night landscape is nearly all white, with a few exceptions including Hall and PBS’ Tavis Smiley.

Hall, saying he’s the only current late-night host “who competed and survived against Johnny Carson,” said he had no grudge with his other hosts. Hall’s new show debuted in September; his original late-night show aired from 1989 until 1994, when Carson hosted “Tonight.”

Saying he didn’t want to play the “angry black man,” Hall invited a friend on stage to help out so that Williams and others in journalism would “include a brother.”

Marion “Suge” Knight, founder of Death Row Records, suggested that Hall give Williams enough time to respond before making him face the consequences.

“Change it or resign?” Hall responded. “We might just be kidding, Brian. You know, sometimes I take the joke too far. Just mention me, man.”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The eclectic trio of Elton John, Kanye West and Jack White will headline this summer’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Organizers announced the lineup for the June 12-15 festival Wednesday night. As usual, it offers a bit of something for everyone.

Sir Elton will be attending his first Bonnaroo, while West will be making his first return after one of the most memorable appearances in 2008. That year he made fans wait nearly two hours for his early-morning set, which didn’t start until 4:30 a.m.

Other performers scheduled to appear in Manchester, Tenn., include Frank Ocean, Lionel Richie, Vampire Weekend, The Avett Brothers, Lauryn Hill and Skrillex, who will host one of Bonnaroo’s SuperJams.

Tickets go on sale at noon Saturday on the festival’s website.

Online: http://bonnaroo. com

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NEW YORK — Now that his children are grown, you can expect to see a lot more of Denzel Washington on Broadway.

The Tony- and Oscar-winning actor, who is set to portray Walter Lee Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play “A Raisin in the Sun,” is lately finding more time for theater work.

“Up until nine years ago, I hadn’t been here in 15 years, from 1990 until 2005. Basically, that was because of raising my kids, my wife and I,” Washington said Tuesday.

He added: “It’s impossible to commute from California to New York, or New York to California doing an eight-show week schedule. So once they got old enough, I could start coming back.”

Washington last appeared on Broadway in the 2010 revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” where he picked up a best actor Tony.

Before coming back to Broadway in 2005 to play Brutus in “Julius Caesar,” Washington hadn’t appeared on a Broadway stage since 1988.

“I’ve been back three times in nine years. And I’ll be back again, hopefully,” Washington said.

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