* Hollywood largely silent on British newspaper scandal
* British celebs greet woes at Murdoch empire with glee
LOS ANGELES, July 12 British actors Hugh Grant
and Steve Coogan may be publicly cheering the woes of Rupert
Murdoch's media empire in a newspaper hacking scandal, but in
Hollywood any gloating is largely taking place behind closed
Since few American stars appear to have been targeted by
the hacking into private phones at the shuttered British
tabloid News of the World, the U.S. entertainment industry is
watching from afar -- more spectator, than participant.
"I think the reaction (in Hollywood) has been very low key.
Most people are watching the news unfold in London and
wondering what will be the ripple effect on the various News
Corp (NWSA.O) divisions here. The main focus is not the
entertainment properties, but the news properties," said Sharon
Waxman, editor in chief of industry website The Wrap.
In Los Angeles, home to Murdoch's Fox Television network
and 20th Century Fox film studio, the focus is more on
Thursday's nominations for the 2011 Emmys -- the highest honors
in the TV industry -- and movie box offices, in particular this
week's release of Warner Bros' newest "Harry Potter" movie.
"I think people are enjoying watching this guy roast but I
don't think it's having any material impact. I think it is a
case of schadenfreude," one senior executive at a rival
Hollywood studio, who did not wish to be named, told Reuters.
In Britain, Grant and Coogan -- both repeated targets of
the tabloid press -- greeted the troubles at the News of the
World with glee.
"The News of the World is ... a misogynistic, xenophobic,
single parent-hating, asylum seeker-hating newspaper and it's
gone to the wall and I'm delighted," comic actor Coogan said on
a BBC chat show last week.
"A WATERSHED MOMENT"
Grant, star of "Four Weddings and A Funeral", called the
closure of the tabloid on Sunday a "watershed moment when,
finally, the public starts to see ... just how low and how
disgusting this particular newspaper's methods were."
Bryce Nelson, professor of journalism at the University of
Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication,
attributed the reluctance to speak out in Hollywood to the
power of Fox "in movies and television and in running tabloids
that can get sensational material on people in the
Said another industry source; "Murdoch touches everybody in
some way, so nobody is standing up" to speak publicly.
Among those brave enough to put their heads above the
parapet is comedian Jon Stewart, whose satirical TV program
"The Daily Show" has waged a long war of words with
conservative leaning Fox News cable television.
In a swift recap on Monday of allegations that News of the
World employees hacked the voicemail of an abducted British
teenager, Stewart commented: "I think I just threw up in my
mouth a little bit."
And in what was dubbed a "schadenfreudegasm," the "Daily
Show" wryly hailed Grant -- remembered for his humiliating 1995
arrest with a Hollywood prostitute -- as one of the heroes of
the tabloid's downfall.
On a more serious note, former Washington Post
correspondent Carl Bernstein asked whether Murdoch was facing
his own Watergate.
"The circumstances of the alleged lawbreaking within News
Corp suggest more than a passing resemblance to Richard Nixon
presiding over a criminal conspiracy in which he insulated
himself from specific knowledge of numerous criminal acts,"
Bernstein wrote in an article for Newsweek.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Bob Tourtellotte in Los
Angeles and Mike Collett-White in London)