In the Press


June 10, 2003 | New York Post

By Dareh Gregorian

At least one guy doesn’t want to have anything to do with “Baywatch” babe Pamela Anderson – director Spike Lee.

Lee took aim at the curvalicious sex kitten after a hearing in Manhattan Supreme Court, where he’s battling TNN over its plans to change its name to “Spike TV” – a “network for men” that will feature a racy new animated superheroine voiced by Anderson.

“They’re trying to bogart my good name . . . I don’t want to be associated with some ‘Stripperella’ crap,” said Lee.

The director of “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” is arguing that his reputation would be harmed if the network goes ahead with its change because it could lead people to believe he’s involved with a network that will revolve around wrestling and Anderson.

“They hope to get a boost in the ratings” by using the name Spike,” Lee lawyer Johnnie Cochran told Justice Walter Tolub in court. “They don’t have a right to misappropriate his name to do that.”

Anderson’s adult-oriented show, “Stan Lee’s Stripperella,” features the “VIP” vixen as the voice of Erotica Jones, described as “a stripper by night, superhero by later that night.”

With the ability to use her breasts as lie detectors, she also knows trouble’s brewing when her belly ring vibrates.

Another Lee lawyer, Terry Gross, told Tolub the advertising for the show invites viewers to “get undercover with Stripperella,” who “has the code name 0069” and “can cut glass with her nipples.”

Anderson declined comment. Show creator Stan Lee (no relation to Spike) couldn’t be reached, but the Spider-Man, Hulk and X-Men co-creator recently told The Post that while the show is racy, he “would never do anything that would be offensive.”

Victor Kovner, the lawyer for TNN’s parent company, Viacom, told the judge the case should be dismissed because the word spike has several different meanings and is used fairly commonly as a name.

Besides, he said, shows like “Stripperella,” wrestling and the James Bond movies the network plans to air are “not the kind of serious and respected work [Spike Lee] has produced,” and will ensure that the public won’t think Lee is involved.

Lee called those arguments “outrageous.” Taking a page out of history – and his movie “Malcolm X” – he quipped that “I think the public is being bamboozled, led astray, run amok.”

Tolub said he would rule before next Monday, when the name change is scheduled to go into effect.

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