Clooney Speaks Out

March 11, 2008 at 9:34 am (Uncategorized)

Respected actor, George Clooney, 46, speaks out about the issue in Darfur and shames the China foreign policy for its role Sudan.

george_clooney.jpgClooney has been an active advocate for refugees in Darfur. The 2008 Olympics in Beijing has been covered in controversy with regards to the genocide in Darfur. Many groups and activists have spoken out about the issue and are pushing for a change.

It’s beneficial for celebrities like Clooney to use their fame to shed a brighter light on an issue. Celebrity fame may come at a price, when it comes to privacy and living a normal life, but ultimately it’s the perfect forum to get something done.

A call to action by celebrities is one of the best ways to motivate people to make change. Celebrities are not just another face in the crowd and chances are, if they are involved in anything, good or bad, people are listening and watching.

The more people are watching a listening, the more people are educated on a topic and with that information be more likely to take action.

Fight on, Clooney!

Photo courtesy of the People Magazine Web site.

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Cancer Alert

March 5, 2008 at 8:27 pm (Uncategorized)

Patrick Swayze, 55, is fighting pancreatic cancer. I’m sure many “Dirty Dancing” fans, as well as myself, are hoping for the best as he enters into treatment.

Despite his disease, Swayze recently finished filming the pilot for potential drama series “The Beast” on A&E. Even though he is currently undergoing treatment, Swazye still hopes to continue his role on the show if it is picked up by A&E.

According to the article posted by the Associated Press, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates there will be 37,680 new cases of pancreatic cancer next year with close to 34,290 related deaths in the United States. The NCI says that only five percent of patients live more than five years after being diagnosed.

We hope for better luck for Patrick but in the mean time I think cancer foundations have found their new spokesperson.

Swazye has been a loved actor for years after his roles in “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost,” not to060504_app_himbo_swayze_10awidec.jpg mention he’s easy on the eyes. I think it would be beneficial for cancer foundations to ask Swayze to speak at conferences and help create more awareness about his disease and encourage people to help.

It may seem sad to optimize on his illness, but he could potentially benefit from it as well. The more people are involved and contributing to the cause, the better chances we have to actually fight this thing. Therefore, utilizing a face people recognize, like Swayze, to educate people may ultimately encourage people to help out.

Photo courtesy of Msnbc.com.

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Crossing the Line

March 4, 2008 at 10:05 pm (Uncategorized)

If you thought the drama between Oregon fans and Kevin Love was over, think again. An article, written by Michael David Smith on the FanHouse section on AOL’s site, discusses the level of taunting the Oregon fans raised to, and students from all around a speaking out.

7xc16k7k.jpgKevin Love received no “love” during the Oregon vs. UCLA game back in early February. As I wrote about in one of my previous posts, Oregon fans called Love names and taunted him during the game. According to the article, Oregon fans didn’t stop after the game ended.

Reportedly, students gained access to Love’s phone number and left death threats on his voicemail. Fans also hurled insults at his family, including calling his mother, grandmother and sister “whores.”

Comments posted in response to the article ranged in opinion of the situation, but a common concern brought up from readers discussed the potential danger of this kind of hazing. The comments expressed a deep concern with this situation and its similarities to school shootings, like last year’s Virginia Tech, and other incidents where young adults have taken lethal action due to hazing.

The Oregon Athletic Department should pay attention to these concerns and take action against this type of behavior to ensure this problem doesn’t happen at Oregon too.

I mentioned in my last post about the incident that the PR department should use a video to encourage students to be positive fans, instead of negative fans. At this juncture, I would argue that the problem falls deeper than we initially thought. The athletic department should make a code of ethics for its students to abide by during games and indicate that any student(s) who break those rules will be ejected from games.

If students and the community are worried about their safety and security than it’s time to take action.

Photo courtesy of http://www.nydailynews.com.

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Making Light of a Bad Situation

February 27, 2008 at 1:08 pm (Uncategorized)

New release movie, Charlie Bartlett, may seem like another classic teenage rebel movie, but its star Anton Yelchin, 18, stresses that it brings to life a real issue among young adults today.

1171928.jpgThe movie follows Yelchin’s character, a teenager who gets kicked out of private school and starts attending a public school and eventually becomes the school’s psychiatrist and sells prescription drugs to his fellow classmates.

Although the movie is considered a comedy it still addresses a serious issue among young adults these days.

“If you look at recent news, there are a lot of stories about prescription drugs,” Yelchin told MTV news in an interview. “I think it makes certain people smarter…We’re so used to all these other drugs [being dangerous] that we feel more comfortable with pills, and I think that’s a huge problem. They are no less of a drug than anything else you put in your system.”

In the aftermath of recent deaths from prescription drugs by Heath Ledger and Casey Calvert, this movie brings the dangers of self-medicating out of the shadows. This is an important aspect of the promotion of this movie. Using a light-hearted comedy to send a message to viewers about the dangers of these drugs is a positive way to educate people.

Since the movie has already been released and did relatively well in theaters, it’s hard to discuss how this may help promote the movie, or if it even would.281x211.jpg

However, I think the fact that Yelchin makes a point in his interviews to discuss the deeper message is a great way to make the movie more than just something people watch to get a good laugh.

Who doesn’t need a good lesson every once in awhile?

Photos courtesy of Rottentomatoes.com and MTV.com.

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Marilyn Wannabe

February 24, 2008 at 8:14 pm (Uncategorized)

cover_lohan080225.jpgIs that the infamous Marilyn Monroe striking a pose on the front cover of the New York Magazine? Not quite. More like our tabloid starring Lindsey Lohan trying to put herself in the same league as Marilyn Monroe…survey says? Failure.

Lohan has had a long year full of excessive partying, DUIs and rehab, all of which don’t scream a class act. However, famous photographer Bert Stern, who captured close to 2,500 of the most popular pictures ever taken of Marilyn Monroe, thought he saw the same spark in Lohan as he did in Monroe.

Lohan jumped at the chance to be photographed by Stern while recreating these infamous photos of her idol. With a year and a reputation like Lohan’s, this could have been a positive transition for her.

However, instead of coming off like a classy sex kitten (like Monroe), she came off looking like an amateur Marilyn Monroe pin up spread in Playboy. Her attempt to prove herself as a worthy class act, in my opinion, failed.slideshow_btnc.jpg

If Lohan wanted to set herself away from being the tabloid queen she’s seen as today and be considered among the top actors, this was not the way to do it.

It might be beneficial to help Lohan break away from her reputation by distancing herself from the same antics that gave her that reputation in the first place. To be taken seriously, Lohan would benefit from taking herself seriously. Perhaps, spending her time working with a charity (and not as part of her community service sentence) instead of partying would help change her image.

She has found a lot of success with her crazy lifestyle and choices, but as far as living up to an idol status and being a household name for years to come, she has a lot of work to do. The names that stick with us for years, at least in a positive light, are those of men and women who have devoted their time to his or her art or the community.

If Bert Stern is right about Lindsey having that “special something” then let’s hope she finds herself following in Monroe’s honorable footsteps and not the destructive ones that led to her ultimate demise.

Photos courtesy of nymag.com.

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Clinton Slips to Obama

February 20, 2008 at 8:52 pm (Uncategorized)

artclinton20gi.jpgHilary Clinton is in dire need of some positive publicity to help her regain composure in the Democratic race after losing Wisconsin to Obama. This was her tenth-consecutive loss; yet she still remains focused and is looking forward to the upcoming Texas and Ohio races.

I’m not a big fan of politics, or rather, I tend to not follow them religiously, but this story caught my attention. It’s clear that her campaign needs a change if she’s going to be able to survive the rest of the race.

It’s time for her to “rally up” and turn her campaign around. In her speech on Wednesday, Clinton stated “It is time to get real,” Clinton said, “to get real about how we actually win this election… It is time to move from good words to good works — from sound bites to sound solutions.”

It sounds like she’s on the right track. Hilary and those involved in her campaign need to draw more attention to Hilary’s strong points and work to improve on the areas where she’s losing votes.

Her campaign needs to be bigger and brighter than Obama’s. He’s had a strong presence throughout the race with his “Yes we can” video, which spread like wildfire on YouTube and continues to pick up momentum over Clinton.

To get back in the game, Clinton needs to work over-time to bring herself back up in the polls. Utilizing social media will do wonders for her. It’s one thing to tell people you have a plan, but it’s powerful to show them. Visuals and interaction is key, much like Obama achieved with his video, Hilary needs to give the public something tangible to work with and more importantly, to support.

Game on…

Photo courtesy of CNN.com

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Branching Out

February 19, 2008 at 8:36 pm (Uncategorized)

Kristie Alley has been in the limelight for several years now as an actress, but her most recent plug has been to well established weight-loss program, Jenny Craig. As of last week, Alley announced that she would be parting ways with Jenny Craig and spending her time creating her own weight-loss program.

The program, however, isn’t set to launch until late next year. This only means one thing, it’s time to put her publicist to work!

293alleykirstie102307.jpgBranching out to do her own thing could either be a great career booster or a grave career buster. For several years now, Alley’s face has been at the forefront of the Jenny Craig brand and it might be hard for followers to now associate her with her own program.

So for the next year, both Alley and her publicist will have to work hard to distinguish Alley as her own person and build awareness to her new weight-loss program, while breaking away from her image with Jenny Craig.

Perhaps, some premature advertising and lots of public appearances, where she can promote her upcoming products, will be beneficial for next year’s launch.

Good luck, Kristie, we love your positivity and strength for all women!

Photo courtesy of Eonline.

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Special Treatment

February 13, 2008 at 9:56 pm (Uncategorized)

Mel Gibson received his court sentence today after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor for driving under the influence. Gibson was pulled over in July of 2006 after being clocked by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy going 87 mph in a 45-mph-zone. Once pulled over he blew 0.12 percent blood-alcohol level and was taken into custody.

svgibson_narrowweb__300x4010.jpgGibson was initially given three years’ probation, fined $1,400 and ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for four and a half months, five days a week.

However, following his arrest, there was coverage over of procedures taken with Gibson. Apparently certain aspects of his arrest were left out of the Sheriff’s Department’s official report and further investigation conducted, by the Office of Independent Review, found that three law enforcement officers also gave Gibson additional preferential treatment.

Among the breaks in protocol included Gibson not being palm-printed upon his release, a standard procedure, and an on-duty deputy drove him from the jail to retrieve his car from the impound without getting permission from a supervisor.

Surprisingly when news leaked of his favorable treatment, Gibson received the brunt of the negative press. Is it fair for Gibson to take the fall? The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was lucky to dodge this bullet. They weren’t scolded for not treating Gibson with the same fair treatment as “regular” citizens, but I wonder if this is a really a big issue?

In my opinion, I think the Sheriff’s Department handled the situation reasonably fair. If I were its PR practitioner I would stress that the actions taken by the department were justified because Gibson was a public figure.

Just as celebrities and other public figures are subject to more poking and prodding in their personal lives, I think they should be allotted more privacy in situations like this. Is their name still going to be plastered on the front page the next day? Yes, and that’s where the difference lies. The average person doesn’t get their name in the paper for a DUI. gibson177.jpeg

Gibson was still fairly sentenced, so I believe (as the Sheriff’s Department does as well, I think) that a preferential trip to get his car, or not giving him a palm-print upon his release (because hello, I’m sure they know who he is) isn’t as big deal as it seems. Eventually, someone has to cut them a break.

Photos courtesy of Theage.com and Movieactors.com.

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Enough is Enough

February 12, 2008 at 10:11 pm (Uncategorized)

headline_1202711683.jpgOn Sunday, the Grammy’s shocked viewers as it awarded controversial singer Amy Winehouse, its big winner. Winehouse took home five of the major awards, including record of the year, song of the year and best new artist.

Winehouse has been plastered on tabloids over the past year for run-ins with the law and alleged drug use. She even spent the past three weeks in a rehab center and only left for her performance at the Grammy’s.

Not everyone thinks her awards were well deserved, as well-respected singer, Natalie Cole spoke out about her disapproval in Winehouse’s numerous rewards.

“I think it sends a bad message to our young people who are trying to get into this business,” said Cole in an interview with The New York Times. “We have to stop rewarding bad behavior.”

This notion draws on the topics I’ve addressed in the last two posts; whose responsibility is it to keep celebrities in line and when is enough, enough?

It seems that Cole is indicating that it’s the responsibility of the Grammy committee to discourage bad behavior from artists, but is bad behavior enough to win over strong talent?

I would argue yes. As a public figure, celebrities put themselves in front the public as role models, whether they want to be or not. Rewarding bad behavior paints celebrities as positive role models not only because of their art but also because of the choices they make. This may which be detrimental to the future and credibility of the entertainment industry.

If celebrities can’t keep themselves in check, then perhaps it is the responsibility of organizations like the Grammy’s, Oscars, Actors Guild, and even as we discussed last week, the Miss America Pageant, to enforce positive behavior.

Photo courtesy of Monstersandcritics.com.

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America’s Sweethearts or America’s Fugitives?

February 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm (Uncategorized)

Following a recent trend among Miss America contestants, Katie Rees, Miss Nevada 2006, was arrested early Wednesday morning for resisting arrest when she was stopped for a traffic violation.

1_61_rees_katie.jpg4_65_rees_katie_booking.jpgThis was not the first time Rees, 23, was subject of controversy. In 2007 she was stripped of her title and unable to compete in the Miss America pageant when racy photos of her emerged on the Internet. This resembles another pageant contestant, Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo, who was blackmailed with photos of her that were posted on her Facebook page.

To put the nail in the coffin, Donald Trump and the rest of the Miss America Pageant committee were forced to decide whether or not to take the crown of former Miss America, Tara Conner, for her excessive partying.

It seems with these stories and possibly more that have yet to surface have the Miss America Pageant committee facing potential image issues. Are America’s sweethearts turning into America’s girls gone wild?

So how can the Miss America Pageant sustain a positive image and keep from running into more controversy with its contestants?

I would suggest that the Miss America committee put together a campaign that focuses on what Miss America stands for. Viral videos and a girls’ organization should be developed that focuses on the positive qualities that make up who Miss America is supposed to be and who she stands for.

Perhaps revitalizing the image of Miss America will encourage its aspiring contestants to hold themselves at that same level.

A positive campaign that focuses on what the Miss America Pageant stands for will also reassure the public of the pageants intentions. It will want to stress that the Miss American Pageant is still a scholarship program that honors the extraordinary qualities and accomplishments of the young women competing.

Photos courtesy of Fox News Web site.

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