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.
View Larger Map
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!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.