a new blacklist descends over the land

We have a new blacklist. Right now it's only about a party, but sometimes party matters.

Certain film people known to be opposed to the massacre in Iraq have been forbidden any opportunity to air their views during the ceremonies sunday night.

The backlash against prominent stars opposing any attack on Iraq has impacted on this year’s Oscars, with organisers drawing up a blacklist of people who will not be allowed a platform to air anti-war views.

Meryl Streep, Sean Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman and Spike Lee are among those who will not be speaking, amid fears they could turn the ceremony into an anti-war rally.

In a move denounced by some as a return to McCarthyism, star presenters have been ordered to stick to scripts, while winners, who the producers have no control over, could find their acceptance speeches cut if they say anything much more than a brief thank you.

Should Michael Moore win an award for his "Bowling for Columbine," his acceptance speech will be scheduled for a commercial break, but we know he won't be allowed to win in the first place. This ain't Oz.