Dallas Finale 2012 Spoilers? Looking Ahead - Daytime TV Icon Bob Barker Riles Up Canadian Cowboys
The Hollywood Exclusive takes a look at the TBS hit Dallas season finale for 2012 (airs 8/8) and reveals Bob Barker is still an activist at 88 years old. A third item is a brief interview with "Step Up Revolution" director Scott Speer.
Why are so many people in Canada angry at Bob Barker? The erstwhile "Price is Right" host hung up his game show microphone five years ago -- and turned not to a life of leisure but a life of activism. Most recently, that's taken the 88-year-old warrior north of the border to battle on behalf of elephants at the Toronto Zoo and to castigate the Calgary Stampede on local radio and TV shows and in print.
"You know, every national animal protection organization is opposed to rodeos of any type. And the Calgary Stampede is just about the most despised rodeo of them all," he informs. "That and Cheyenne rodeo."
"Because of the treatment of the animals and the deaths they've caused," Barker claims. "The Calgary Stampede has just celebrated its 100th anniversary, and during those 100 years, they have killed I don't know how many animals total....They do terrible things to the horses. They use bucking straps for the bucking broncs. It's a strap that is cinched around the groin area, and you can only imagine how painful that is. They use what is called 'hot shots,' electric shock devices. They're already illegal in many countries, but they use them."
As far as the zoo elephants, Barker is among those who maintain that the animals are in declining health and need to be moved to a reserve -- and Toronto officials have agreed, he says, but zoo administrators have been blocking the move.
Barker's agenda of late has also included narrating presentations for his fellow animal protectionists at Mercy for Animals, an organization dedicated to stopping factory farming. He's helped lobby against use of the hated so-called "gestation crates" for pigs that don't allow the animals to lie down or turn. In fact, he says that Kmart and Costco both recently quit buying pork from a major Minnesota producer that utilized those crates, because of Mercy for Animals bringing the practice to their attention.
Barker's activities are too numerous to list here, but they also include recently funding a habitat for lab chimps that had been used in HIV/AIDS tests -- and his setting up of endowments for the study of animal law at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, Georgetown, Columbia, Duke and the University of Virginia. He was also named an Honorary Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Animal Ethics.
"I put my time, my energy and my money into it," says the daytime icon, who put in 50 years on the air. "I can't think of anything I could do that would be more important or helpful -- or bring greater satisfaction to me."
Barker works alongside long-time activist Nancy Burnet, who is the executive director of his foundation. When he's not involved in work on behalf of animals, he's often engaged in activities within his other philanthropic passion -- aid for wounded veterans.
MET IN ANOTHER LIFE: With the rip-roarin' "Dallas" season finale coming up tomorrow (8/8), it's not giving too much away to say that it appears we'll be seeing more of Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) in Season 2.
Brenda Strong -- strong indeed as Ann Ewing, wife of Bobby in this final episode -- tells us she actually had a scene with Kercheval back in the original "Dallas," when she was an unknown newcomer.
"I played Cliff Barnes' one-night-stand," she says.
"It had nothing to do with the character I play now, of course." Still, she's told the current producers about the clip, wondering whether they could use it somehow. Could be mighty interesting.
THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: "Step Up Revolution" director Scott Speer is keeping a positive outlook about his accomplishments in making his first movie -- despite the tough going the dance flick has had.
"There were definitely a lot of circumstances out of our control -- the Olympics and of course the terrible events in Aurora," he says, referring to the horrific movie theater shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded just as "Step Up Revolution" was about to open.
Nevertheless, Speer tells us that audience response cards from showings of his Ryan Guzman-Kathryn McCormick feature "have averaged B plus, which means that audiences are really enjoying it. I'm glad it's continuing to get out there, nationally and internationally, and finding its audience."
Made in a mere 42 days on a modest budget, "Step Up Revolution" doesn't have to go far to make money. Next up: Speer says he'd like to do an action movie.
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