White Powder Found in Envelope at Paramount Studios; LAFD Determines It 'Non-Hazardous' But 'Suspicious'
Update: The powder reportedly fell from a fan letter to Glee creator Ryan Murphy. Details at the bottom.
Someone at 5555 West Melrose Avenue (the address for Paramount Studios) called 911 today after discovering a "white powder like substance" in an envelope.
So the L.A. City Fire Department dispatched its hazmat team to the studios for a "chemical investigation" of this "unknown type of suspicious substance," cordoning off the affected area and otherwise stirring up all the lights-and-sirens drama that comes with a hazmat call.
But after only 10 minutes of investigating...
... the team had determined there was "no hazard."
Still, because the substance in the envelope was still considered to be a "suspicious situation," cops from the LAPD's Hollywood Station were called in to continue investigating, says LAFD spokesman Erik Scott.
Hmmm. Hollywood studio. White powder. Non-hazardous, yet suspicious. Are you thinking what we're thinking?
Haz mat team at Paramount Studios to examine a mysterious white powder. Seriously. That's not a joke. LAFD investigating.
— nina (@ninaberries) July 23, 2012
Now that they've ruled out Anthrax, we ask Scott whether LAFD responders have any clue what could have been inside the envelope.
After a long and awkward pause, he merely repeats his previous statement that the substance was non-hazardous. The spokesman refers all followup questions to the LAPD.
Right. So either this was some strange Occupy Wall Street threat to the 1 percenters in the film industry, or said 1 percenters just got a little careless with their designer-caffeine supply this muggy Monday. (Did you really think the Glee kids were that giddy by nature?)
Or perhaps some hopped-up screenwriter accidentally included some cocaine tears in his script delivery. Related: "Bomb Scare in Beverly Hills: Aspiring Screenwriter Delivers Unwanted Script to Agent via Mysterious Briefcase."
We've contacted the LAPD for updates on the investigation.
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Update, 7 p.m.: According to ace Deadline blogger Nellie Andreeva, an assistant to producer/writer/director Ryan Murphy called 911 when the white stuff fell out of some fan mail:
Work at Ryan Murphy's production company was disrupted for a couple of hours today. When an office assistant was opening a letter from a fan who wanted Murphy to read his script, a little bit of white powder spilled out. As a precaution, the Paramount-based production offices were evacuated and a HazMat team was called in.
Looks like we may have been right about the cocaine tears. Oh, Hollywood -- every time we start to bore of you, you bounce right back with another big crazy beautiful cliche!
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