Actor Orlando Jones is using the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about gun violence in America. Some of the world's biggest names, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck, Taylor Swift and Britney Spears have doused themselves with icy water and posted the footage on social media as part of the new charity phenomenon, aimed at raising money and awareness for the ALS Association, which is attempting to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease.
The Sleepy Hollow star commends his fellow celebrities for their efforts and has pledged to donate to the cause, but he also wants to bring attention to another issue in America - gun violence and militarised police forces.
Jones explains the controversial police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Missouri and the escalating violence prompted by the killing in Ferguson, Missouri inspired him to speak out.
In a hard-hitting new video, in which Jones dumps bullets over his head instead of ice water, he says, "This past week I've watched an American city become something akin to a war zone... It all seems to stem from some sort of militarised police force threatening the rights of people to assemble (in protest).
"I'm asking something very hard of myself, I'm challenging myself to listen without prejudice, to love without limits and to reverse the hate..."
The director of Taylor Swift's new Shake It Off video has fired back at criticism suggesting the promo promoted African-American stereotypes. Scenes in which Swift appears alongside and underneath 'twerking' dancers, have upset some people, who claim she is simply poking fun at black culture.
Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt went so far as to call the video "inherently offensive and ultimately harmful" in a social media post earlier this week (beg18Aug14).
He added, "It's perpetuating black stereotypes to the same demographic of white girls who hide their prejudice by proclaiming their love of the culture."
Now, director Mark Romanek is fighting back, stating, "I think, if Earl Sweatshirt was open-minded enough to take the four minutes to watch it, he might see what the larger, humanistic, and utterly colour-blind message was intended to be."
Romanek, who directed the stylised black and white video for Jay-Z's 99 Problems, tells Vulture, "I'm a fan of his and I think he's a really interesting artist. But he stated clearly that he hadn't seen the video and didn't even intend to watch it. So, respectfully, that sort of invalidates his observations from the get-go.
"And it's this one uninformed tweet that got reported on and rehashed, which started this whole 'controversy'. We simply choose styles of dance that we thought would be popular and amusing and cast the best dancers that were presented to us without much regard to race or ethnicity.
"If you look at it carefully, it's a massively inclusive piece. It's very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And - let's remember - it's a satirical piece. It's playing with a whole range of music-video tropes and cliches and stereotypes."
The celebrity backlash against the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has begun with Pamela Anderson urging the stars tipping freezing water over their heads to research the charity they are helping. Some of the world's biggest names, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Ben Affleck, Taylor Swift and Britney Spears have doused themselves with icy water and posted the footage on social media as part of the new charity phenomenon, aimed at raising money and awareness for the ALS Association, which is attempting to find a cure for Lou Gehrig's disease.
But Anderson won't be joining them until the organisation stops funding animal testing.
In a message on Facebook.com, she writes, "I can't bring myself to do your Ice bucket challenge. I enjoy a good dare - It's always good to bring awareness - in fun, creative ways. I don't want to take away from that...
"I thought Instead I'd challenge ALS to stop Animal testing...Trying to cure human diseases by relying on outdated and ineffective animal experiments isn't only cruel - it's a grave disservice to people who desperately need cures."
She continues, "Please, help scientists make real progress toward treating and curing human diseases by visiting HumaneSeal.org to find and support charities that never harm animals and which pour their time and resources into advanced, promising, human-relevant cures."
Meanwhile, Pink's husband Carey Hart has also taken aim at the stars tipping water over themselves and then not donating to the cause.
In a message on Instagram.com, he writes, "I went the contribution route. I figure ALS would rather have my money than see me wet..."
On Twitter.com, he adds, "It's extremely creepy and annoying how obsessed people are w/ (with) this ice bucket challenge. The purpose is 2 raise money for an awful disease."
Rapper Ice T has also taken to Twitter.com in recent days in an attempt to shame the stars who appear to be using the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote themselves and not the charity.
And stars like actor Zachary Quinto are refusing to take the challenge because it sends the wrong message about the ongoing drought in California.
He says, "In light of the staggering drought in California and the desperate need for clean drinking water in developing countries I opt for donating directly to project ALS in lieu of an ice bucket challenge."
Director Brian G. Hutton has died, aged 79. The filmmaker passed away on Tuesday (19Aug14) after suffering a heart attack last week (begs11Aug14).
The New York City native began his career as an actor, but stepped behind the camera after taking part in a directing programme with Universal Studios.
In 1968, Hutton directed Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in the war classic Where Eagles Dare, and he teamed with the duo again in 1970 for Kelly's Heroes, which also starred Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O’Connor and Donald Sutherland.
Hutton also made two movies with Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor - drama X, Y and Zee opposite Michael Caine and Night Watch with Laurence Harvey.
In 1980, Hutton was recruited to replace Roman Polanski as the director of The First Deadly Sin, after his predecessor fled America to escape statutory rape charges. The movie featured Faye Dunaway and Frank Sinatra in his final major film role.
Hutton also directed the films High Road to China, The Pad and How to Use It, and Sol Madrid.
As an actor, Hutton starred in movies like Fear Strikes Out, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, King Creole, The Case Against Brooklyn, and TV shows such as Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Have Gun - Will Travel, Rawhide and The Rifleman.
Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J will debut their new single Bang Bang at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (24Aug14). The trio will open the show and immediately after the performance fans will be able to check out the video for the song online.
Reports suggest the new video features an easy-to-learn dance that was created by Jessie J.
Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora, Iggy Azalea, Maroon 5, Usher, Sam Smith and 5 Seconds of Summer are also billed to perform at the 2014 VMAs.
Beyonce, who will also pick up the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the prizegiving, leads all nominees with eight, including Video of the Year and Best Female Video.
Early Wednesday morning, Nicki Minaj dropped the music video for "Anaconda," and it's basically got us all thinking one thing.
It's really hard not to just quote the song, but look at that butt, is pretty much the only thought that will be going through your head. Nicki has been teasing the video over the course of a the last week now, and we can't say that we're disappointed. It's already gotten over 2 million views.
Check out the ass-tonishing video here:
As expected, Twitter basically exploded.
#AnacondaVideoOnVevo was trending almost immediately, as well as Bruh Nicki Minaj and Drake.
I've never been more amazed by a video than I am by the #AnacondaVideoOnVevo
— Jamie Maguire (@jamie__maguire) August 20, 2014
The first thing I did when I woke up was turn on the #AnacondaVideoOnVevo
— tysonika (@wtfroman_) August 20, 2014
This was just toooo much tho #AnacondaVideoOnVevo
— #thotlife ツ (@mixed_racechick) August 20, 2014
In case you don't already feel white enough today, check out the #AnacondaVideoOnVevo I've never seen so many butts and fruits together
— Megan Montville (@meg_mont) August 20, 2014
bruh I just hurt my neck trying to dance to anaconda #AnacondaVideoOnVevo
— Denise™ (@teambarbie4life) August 20, 2014
U HAVE MISSED THE RESURRECTION IF U HAVENT SEEN #AnacondaVideoOnVevo
— O-MONEY (@OsmirDiazz) August 20, 2014
There was even some friendly fire against Taylor, who just dropped her new video for "Shake It Off," on Monday:
Sorry @taylorswift13 but there was a whole lot more shaking going on in @NICKIMINAJ video #AnacondaVideoOnVevo
— Ryan Connors (@connors36) August 20, 2014
People could not get over Drake's part in this video:
Drake be looking so confused in this #AnacondaVideoOnVevo like: "Dafuq is happening to me? But I like it, but it hurts, but I love" :p
— LunaCBrownie (@LunaCBrownie) August 20, 2014
That FUCKIN LAP DANCE ON DRAKE WTF!!!!!! #AnacondaVideoOnVevo @NICKIMINAJ
— TeamMinaj Georgia (@MsBlazinBarbie) August 20, 2014
Drake just wrote his whole album sitting on that chair #AnacondaVideoOnVevo pic.twitter.com/YKkri398Gz
— Lester Minaj (@LesterAquino_) August 20, 2014
Did you think the video was ASS-tounding or nASSty? Tweet us your thoughts!
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Taylor Swift launched her latest video and album news during a live streamed event from the top of the Empire Stet Building in New York on Monday (18Aug14). During the Yahoo/ABC-sponsored event the singer announced her new album will be called 1989 - the year of her birth - and it is set for release at the end of October (14). She then introduced the premiere of her promo for new song Shake It Off.
Okay, #Swifties, it's time! The secret she's been hinting at for weeks is finally out. America's country sweetheart, Taylor Swift, just announced her new album, 1989, during her Yahoo! Live Stream, and her first single off the album is "Shake It Off."
Watch the video for Shake It Off here:
You can pre-order 1989 on TaylorSwift.com now. It'll be available in stores on October 27th, 2014. A deluxe version of the album will also be available, with 3 new songs, and it's something Taylor has never done before. These bonus tracks will be voice memos from Taylor's own phone!
EXTRA BONUS! Taylor is dying to meet her fans, because she is adorable and loves us all. For the first time, she will be hosting the "Swiftstakes," which is where she will be giving out 1,989 (we see what you did there) prizes, including 1,000 concert tickets as well as 500 meet and greets.
Excuse us while we run off to fangirl! We love you Tay! Are you excited about this announcement? Tweet us what you think about #1989!
YouTube/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Just three weeks in production, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raked in more than $15 million — this puts it ahead of the latest YA release The Giver as the eighth highest grossing property this month. But trouncing that Jeff Bridges/Brenton Thwaites travesty by nearly $3 million is only the second most noble of the Ice Bucket Challenge’s efforts. The movement is allotting nigh unparalleled funds toward the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an illness known best as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The condition observes the weakening of the muscles in accordance with a degeneration of a specific portion of the spinal cord. As a result of ALS, those afflicted find difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and moving altogether.
Though discovered in the 19th century and brought to infamy in the late 1930s in accordance with the suffering of beloved New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, ALS remains the most common motor neuron disease actively plaguing men and women today. While perhaps only a small measure in the fight against the illness, the Ice Bucket Challenge is allowing for tremendous progress in the collection of funds devoted to the defeat of such a longstanding travesty.
As is inevitable with any cause célèbre or public movement, we have witnesses no small share of backlash against the Challenge; critics decry the endeavor as a bandwagon trend and a waste of time that offers no real benefit to the cause in question. As far as the latter goes, the $15 million and counting — a sum made possible thanks in large part to the spirited, sportsmanly brand with which the Ice Bucket Challenge was designed — would beg to differ. Nevertheless, we find those with a sour taste for the charitable phenomenon. Not to mention those who simply don’t want to pour a bunch of cold water over their heads. But if you find yourself a culprit of this mindset, maybe take a look at the pedigree of the company you’d be joining were you to hop aboard for this particularly frigid mitzvah.
So what pop culture accomplishments can be attributed to the community of water-logged philanthropists?
5 ACADEMY AWARDS Between Steven Spielberg (3), Russell Crowe (1), and Oprah (a Humanitarian Oscar).
60 EMMYSBetween Oprah (13 Daytime Emmys and 2 Primetime Emmys), Steven Spielberg (11), Meredith Vieira (4 News/Documentary Emmys and 3 Daytime Emmys), Jimmy Fallon (4), Justin Timberlake (4), J.J. Abrams (3), Conan O'Brien (3), Jim Parsons (3), Ricky Gervais (2), William Shatner (2), Harry Connick Jr. (2), Rachel Maddow (1), Ryan Seacrest (1), Nathan Fillion (1 Daytime Emmy), and Topher Grace (1 Daytime Emmy).
62 GRAMMYSJustin Timberlake (9), Taylor Swift (7), Carrie Underwood (6), Lady Gaga (5), Mackelmore (4), Lil Wayne (4), Keith Urban (4), Weird Al Yankovic (3), Gwen Stefani (3), Ludacris (3), Brad Paisley (3), Adam Levine (3), Harry Connick Jr (3), Jason Mraz (2), Drake (1), Jimmy Fallon (1), and Calvin Harris (1).
10 GOLDEN GLOBESSteven Spielberg (7), Russell Crowe (1), William Shatner (1), and Don Johnson (1).
Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen showered himself in dollar bills after swapping an ice bucket for a pail full of cash for a charity challenge.
The former Two and a Half Men star threw $10,000 (£5,882) in bills over his head for his part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, in which stars nominate each other for a cold shower to bring in money and raise awareness of Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as motor neurone disease.
A video posted online shows Sheen, who was nominated by hockey player Ryan Miller, tipping a silver bucket full of money over his head and exclaiming, "Oh wait, that's not ice. That's $10,000 in cash which I am donating to the ALS Foundation because let's face it, ice is gonna melt and this money is actually going to help people."
Sheen goes on to nominate his former Two and a Half Men co-star Jon Cryer, the show's creator Chuck Lorre, and replacement castmember Ashton Kutcher to follow suit, adding, "I am hereby calling out Jon Cryer, Chuck Lorre and Ashton Kutcher to identically do what I just did. C'mon guys, it's for a great cause."
Other stars to have taken part in the challenge include Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, as well as singer Josh Groban who was doused in icy water on U.S. TV during a taping of talent show Rising Star.