Wednesday, March 6, 2002
London What does a star have to do to get a poem on the air?
Actor Russell Croweï¿½ who was reportedly enraged and then apologetic after a poem was cut from the British broadcast of his acceptance speech at the British Academy Film Awards ï¿½ was annoyed all over again when the verse was cut from the broadcast in his native Australia, news reports said Tuesday.
Crowe, who won the best actor award for his role as a schizophrenic math genius in "A Beautiful Mind," threw a party for friends Monday at his farm near the Australian town of Coffs Harbour to watch the broadcast on Australian Broadcasting Corp. television, the British tabloid The Sun reported.
The four-line poem, "Sanctity," by the late Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, was deleted despite assurances from TV executives that it would be included, The Sun said.
An unidentified friend was quoted as saying Crowe was surprised to see the poem was removed and got angry.
There was no immediate comment from Crowe's publicist in Los Angeles, Robin Baum.
Crowe, 37, reportedly has apologized for losing his temper with the director of the awards ceremony show, Malcolm Gerrie, after the poem was cut from the one-hour delayed telecast on the British Broadcasting Corp.
The show's producer, Initial Productions, has said the poem was deleted due to time pressure and that other speeches also were cut.
News reports said that Crowe swore at Gerrie, 51, at a dinner after the Feb. 24 ceremony and pushed him against a wall.
Gerrie was not available for comment Tuesday, but The Sun quoted him as saying that "there were specific instructions that Russell's poem would not be edited out of the Australian broadcast."
Crowe, who won an Oscar for his performance as Maximus in "Gladiator," has been nominated for a second Academy Award for "A Beautiful Mind."
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is Britain's leading organization for film, television, and interactive entertainment.