Japanese theaters pull The Cove after threats; whaling ban may be lifted

No theaters in Japan are showing the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove, which is about dolphin slaughter there, because the far right “activists’ noisy rallies, online slanders, intimidating phone calls and veiled threats of violence are frightening theaters into canceling showings,” The New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, the International Whaling Commission starts meeting Monday in Morocco to discuss a proposal to “suspend the whaling ban has been drafted by the agency’s chairman, but it’s an unhappy option for nations that abhor whaling. The deal would legitimize commercial hunting in exchange for a drop in the number of whales actually killed by those claiming exemptions to the ban — Japan, Norway and Iceland,” the AP reports.

As you might guess, Whale Wars stars Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd are not happy about this, saying in a press release that “The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is rejecting the International Whaling Commission (IWC) as a corrupt and irrelevant body that has lost all credibility as an organization responsible for the conservation of the world’s whales.”

Japan’s Far Right Blocks Screenings of ‘The Cove’ [New York Times]
Nations divided over lifting whaling ban [AP]
Sea Shepherd Dismisses the IWC as Corrupt and Irrelevant [Sea Shepherd]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.