Memo To Barack Obama: Don't Do This

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Memo To Barack Obama: Don't Do This

Wed Oct 29, 2008 @ 12:40PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Obamabarack How Barack Obama will use his 30 minutes of paid airtime tonight is an open parlor game. "Saturday Night Live" made its guess. The NYT as fun speculating, based on the one-minute trailer it was shown. (Yes, even informercials now have trailers.)

One thing he probably shouldn't do, however, is prank call John McCain and leave nasty messages on the Republican candidate's voicemail. Sure, that would be funny, but as two BBC entertainers are finding out, these things have consequences.

Russell Brand ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall") and Jonathan Ross, another high-profile British TV star, have been suspended by the channel after the pair participated in an on-air prank call to 78-year-old comedy actor Andrew Sachs ("Fawlty Towers"). They joked about sleeping with Sachs '23-year-old granddaughter, causing a reported 18,000 viewer complaints. So notwithstanding a a three-year, multimillion dollar contract, the two are now off the air, as the country's version of the FCC investigates whether the broadcasting code was broken.

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The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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