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July 27th, 2013
12:00 PM ET

OutFront suggests anti-sexting device

Not sure if you should be sexting?

Weiner estimates he sexted three women after resigning

In the OutFront OutTake a product that can help.


Filed under: OutFront Extra • OutFront Outtake • Politics
It took 41 years but we may have finally killed originality
July 22nd, 2013
01:34 PM ET

It took 41 years but we may have finally killed originality

Let's say you've written a terrific movie script.

It's an original story that's unlike anything that's ever been produced.

What do you do next?

Nothing.

Because, according to the numbers, original ideas just don’t sell.

Of the ten highest grossing films of the year (so far), 8 of them are sequels or remakes and one – “World War Z” – is based on a book.

That leaves the animated film “The Croods” as the only truly original movie that cracked the top ten this year.

And it's been like that for a long time.

In the past few decades the majority (by a large margin) of the highest grossing films have been sequels, prequels or remakes with series like “Harry Potter,” “Twilight,” “Shrek” and “The Dark Knight” dominating at the box office.

In fact, we looked it up, and you have to go all the way back to 1972 to find the last year where there wasn't a single remake or sequel included in the ten highest grossing films of the year.
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Filed under: Entertainment • OutFront Extra • OutFront Staff
July 21st, 2013
07:29 PM ET

Painter of terror suspects discusses Rolling Stone cover

This week Rolling Stone magazine published an issue with suspected Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover. There was an immediate backlash with the editors of the magazine accused of glamorizing a terrorist.

The criticism reminded us of the response to our March 2012 interview with Daisy Rockwell, a writer and artist who paints portraits of terror suspects in innocent poses.

OutFront reached out to Rockwell for her take on the Rolling Stone controversy.

OutFront: What do you think of the Tsarnaev cover?

Daisy Rockwell: At first when I heard about this controversy I thought it was some kind of joke. Mass killers of all stripes appear on magazine covers all the time. Similarly, Rolling Stone has long engaged in political reporting as well as entertainment reporting. The 'selfie' of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that they've used is available all over the internet and has even appeared in the New York Times. Rolling Stone has done nothing to the photograph, so one is forced to ask how exactly is the magazine glamorizing terrorism?

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July 19th, 2013
02:25 PM ET

Death by Hotel Room: What happens when a celebrity dies at a hotel?

It’s been almost one week since Glee actor Cory Monteith was found dead in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver. Monteith joined celebrities James Gandolfini, Whitney Houston, John Belushi, Anna Nicole Smith, Janis Joplin and Coco Chanel, among others, on the tragic list of 'stars found dead in their hotel rooms.'

When a celebrity checks into a major hotel in the U.S., the hotel is most likely financially prepared for the worst case scenario to unfold. According to Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor for CBS News, celebrity managers of clients [who are known to be aggressive and/or into drugs] often times have to put down a $25,000 to $100,000 security deposit for their clients at their hotels even before they check in.

Jacob Tomsky, author of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality, tells OutFront "...guests who pay in cash and only cash are watched quite a bit closer and if a guest or celebrity has a history of damaging hotel rooms then, absolutely, the hotel will take pains to ensure they have additional funds held on the guest's card."

U.S. hotels even have a plan of attack for when a guest dies. According to Greenberg “The first thing that happens is they call the police. Then they [don’t touch] the room so they preserve the evidence for the investigation.”

Once a guest dies, discretion is also key for the hotel staff. Tomsky tells OutFront. “Nothing is bad for business like a sheet-covered gurney being pushed through the lobby…They will do everything they can to deal with it behind the scenes, using employee elevators and back exits…We are trained early on to have this phrase at the ready, no matter how old and tired it may sound: ‘I can neither confirm nor deny that information.  I'm sorry.’”

After the police investigation is finished, these hotel rooms are almost always available again to regular guests and the race is on to restore the rooms to their original condition. “You'd be amazed how quickly they will turn over a room that's had a tragedy occur inside of it” Tomsky explains. In the book Hotel Secrets from the Travel Detective , Peter Greenberg devotes an entire chapter entitled ‘Rooms with a Past’ to hotel rooms ‘famous or infamous’ for deaths, crimes, arrests and movie scenes at places like the Amsterdam Hilton, the Chelsea Hotel, the Chateau Marmont, and the Mark Hotel. For the most part guests can still stay in these iconic rooms.

In 1982 John Belushi was found dead at his hotel bungalow at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, California. Fred Basten, co-author of Life at the Marmont: The Inside Story of Hollywood's Legendary Hotel of the Stars–Chateau Marmont explains to OutFront, "Once the investigators had gone through the bungalow Ray Sarlot [the co-author of the book who also bought the hotel in 1975] had everything inside changed.  He didn't want the place to become a ‘cult symbol.'"

Sally Sarlot, Ray’s wife, reiterated that “Ray put guest privacy ahead of everything and in order to avoid any identification with the bungalow where John died.... There was nothing left to be identified with [Belushi].”

Is it merely a coincidence that so many celebrities happened to die in their hotel rooms or could there be a medical connection between these deaths and the hotel environment?

Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht tells OutFront, “There’s nothing of a physical or environmental connection that predisposes them to [die in a hotel room]…[These celebrities] are frequently on the road and on the move. They spend a great amount of time in their hotel rooms getting ready for performances…It absolutely is a psycho-sociological common denominator of great fame, tremendous pressure and the ease with which drugs are obtained…What you find in many of these cases is much greater ease to obtain drugs when you have 1) money  and 2) sycophants surrounding you.”

Follow Jessica Reinis on Twitter: @JessicaReinis.

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Filed under: Entertainment • OutFront Extra • OutFront Staff
July 12th, 2013
03:28 PM ET

Fact or Royal Fiction: If Kate Middleton is overdue could U.S. menu items induce labor?

In the OutFront newsroom, we are counting down the seconds until the Prince or Princess of Cambridge is born. Some of us are worried about the unthinkable: the Duchess of Cambridge could be overdue.

But did you know, there is a link between some favorite American dishes and their ability to induce labor? Several restaurants across the country feature menu items that are rumored to help overdue moms pop. Kate Middleton, you too could have an eggplant baby.

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Filed under: International • OutFront Extra • OutFront Staff • Royal Baby
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