HOLLYWOOD HAS responded to the rampage at a Connecticut elementary school by pulling back on its offerings, but stars speaking at a news event for the ultraviolent new film "Django Unchained" differed on whether the entertainment industry bears any responsibility for such acts.

"We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn't have a sort of influence," Jamie Foxx said Saturday in New York. "It does."

Foxx stars in Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked spaghetti Western-style film about slavery, which opens Christmas Day.

But Tarantino, whose credits include "Pulp Fiction" and the "Kill Bill" series, said he was tired of defending his films each time the nation is shocked by gun violence. "Tragedies happen," he said, and blame should fall on those guilty of the crimes.

Foxx's co-star Kerry Washington said the film's explicit brutality educates audiences about the atrocities of slavery.

"It's important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect it to the wrongs, the injustices, the social ills," she said.

In the Newtown, Conn., massacre Friday, a gunman killed his mother, six adults and 20 children before committing suicide.

In response, premieres for Tom Cruise's action movie "Jack Reacher" in Pittsburgh and the family comedy "Parental Guidance" in Los Angeles were postponed.

Fox pulled new episodes and subbed reruns of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" that were to air Sunday to avoid potentially sensitive content. Fox also swapped out a scheduled repeat of "The Cleveland Show" Sunday.

Bilbo bags it

Peter Jackson

's "The Hobbit" was predicted to have the biggest December opening ever, $84.4 million, surpassing

Will Smith

's "I Am Legend," which broke records with a $77.2 million opening in 2007.

"Hobbit," the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's first novel in the fantasy series, also bested the three "Lord of the Rings" films despite generally poor reviews.

Fuh luh luh luh luh . . .

Nothing says "Happy Holidays!" like the F-bomb.

"Saturday Night Live's" star-studded Christmas episode started out well, dropping its comic opener for a performance of "Silent Night" by the New York City Children's Chorus, a tribute to the Connecticut tragedy.

Paul McCartney was musical guest, Martin Short was host, and the show reportedly scored a bigger audience share than usual, which meant plenty of people heard actor Samuel L. Jackson, in an unbilled cameo, utter what sounded an awful lot like a naughty word during a skit as a guest on a mock BET talk show.

Playing host, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson paused, but didn't stop the bit. "C'mon, Sam. That costs money!" he joked.

Jackson later tried to put things right on Twitter, insisting, "I only said FUH."

Speaking of rings

Singer

Kelly Clarkson

's engaged to beau

Brandon Blackstock

, and she has a kazillion-carat yellow diamond to prove it. They're from the same town, been dating since last year (he's her manager's son and

Reba McEntire

's stepson) and, until recently, were "taking it slow," Clarkson has said. But she admitted she knew he was The One the moment she met him.

"I was like, 'Oh we're so getting married,' I was so that girl. When he became single, I was on the prowl," she said on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show Thursday.

_ A black diamond and a Twitter post were all Kat von D needed to accept electronic musician Deadmau5's recent proposal. She's the tattoo artist and reality TV star who got engaged a few times to Sandra Bullock's ex, Jesse James. No Kat and Mau5 games this time, hopefully.

Daily News Staff Writer Laurie T. Conrad contribu-

ted to this report.

Dan Gross is on vacation. Tattle columnist Howard Gensler has the day off.