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 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"I thought Instead I'd challenge ALS to stop Animal testing...Trying to cure human diseases by relying on outdated and ineffective animal experiments isn't only cruel - it's a grave disservice to people who desperately need cures."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."
Corey Griffin, the 27-year-old co-founder of ALS charity phenomenon the Ice Bucket Challenge has died. Griffin drowned during an early morning swim at Straight Wharf in Nantucket, Massachusetts after attending a fundraiser for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, on Friday (15Aug14). The challenge he created with pal Pete Frates has become a sensation online with celebrities all over the world topping ice cold water over their heads and posting the footage on social media sites before nominating others to follow their example and raise awareness for the charity.
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).
On/off couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez became the latest celebrities to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge over the weekend (16-17Aug14). Bieber was nominated to dunk a bucket of freezing water over his head by his manager Scooter Braun, while Gomez's pal Taylor Swift dared the singer/actress to follow her lead and raise awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease.
Bieber posted his dunking on his Instagram on Saturday (16Aug14) and nominated President Barack Obama and Ellen DeGeneres to follow suit. He did it again the following day, and this time invited his fans to take the challenge.
Gomez posted her big freeze on Sunday (17Aug14) and called upon model pals Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse as well as her Spring Breakers co-star James Franco.
Gwen Stefani also got dunked with icy water over the weekend as Blake Shelton, her co-judge on U.S. talent show The Voice poured a bucket over her posted the footage online.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is a social-media phenomenon intended to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS causes nerve cells in the brain and the spinal chord to eventually degenerate and die, which can lead to full muscle paralysis and respiratory failure.
Participants have 24 hours to either donate $100 (£58) to fight ALS, or dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and only donate $10 (£5.98). They then must nominate someone else to take part. Many of the celebrities who have dunked have made a donation as well.
Jon Bon Jovi also added his name to the list of Ice Bucket Challenge participants when he got dunked by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New England Patriots boss Robert Kraft during a garden party.
Posting the footage online on Sunday, he nominated his Bon Jovi bandmates to follow his dripping wet example.
Lady Gaga is one of the latest stars to have been nominated for the challenge. She pledged a $10,000 (£5,882) donation and asked her fans around the world to follow her example.
Music and TV mogul Simon Cowell has teamed up with the brains behind The Lego Movie to turn animated character Betty Boop into a big screen phenomenon.
Cowell and his partners at Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic Entertainment's executives are working together on a comedy featuring the 1920s-style flapper, who first appeared onscreen in the 1930s.
Cowell says, "Betty is an icon and one of the biggest stars in the world. I'm thrilled to be working with her. Betty, I've worked with some serious divas but I think you could be the biggest of them all!"
Vinyl copies of The Beatles' seminal self-titled record has been transformed into an art exhibition in the band's hometown. New York-based artist Rutherford Chang has collected more than 1,000 well-worn copies of 1968's 'The White Album' and turned them into an art installation at the FACT centre in Liverpool, England.
Chang initially became fascinated with the way fans lovingly decorated the plain cover using methods from stickers to scribbling, and has put them on display in the style of a retro record shop.
He says of the show, "There are all kinds of things written on them and they provide an interesting snapshot of the last half century. It was an album I bought by chance as teenager, and then years later I saw a second album. That's when I realised every copy was unique. I've read breaking-up letters written by girlfriends or boyfriends. I've seen love letters and poems, drawings - you can imagine. I'm interested in the White Album as a cultural phenomenon."
Visitors to the gallery are invited to donate their own copies of the album to the exhibition. Venue representative Jen Chapman adds, "In the city that created the world's most famous band, we hope there will be lots more albums collected - and lots more personal stories about the White Album discovered."
The exhibition opens on Friday (15Aug14).
Actor Rob Riggle proved he was game for a challenge on Tuesday (12Aug14), when he joined U.S. comedian Jimmy Fallon and his The Tonight Show house band The Roots to douse themselves in buckets of ice cold water - all in the name of charity. The fundraising phenomenon has taken social media by storm in recent weeks to raise money to fight Lou Gehrig's disease. Pop star Justin Timberlake performed the dare on Monday (11Aug14), and then nominated Fallon and The Roots crew to do the same, which they did within 24 hours. They also vowed to donate to the ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association to help raise awareness about the condition.
Justin Timberlake was left shivering after accepting an ice bucket challenge to raise funds to fight Lou Gehrig's disease.
Over the past two weeks, a fundraising phenomenon has taken social media by storm, with participants given the task of either pouring a large bucket of freezing water over themselves and donating $10 (£5.96) to the ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association, or donating $100 (£59.60) instead of accepting the challenge.
Those who agree to take on the task must post a video of themselves on social media completing the challenge, then nominate a few more people to get wet, and they only have 24 hours to accept. On Monday (11Aug14), the challenge reached the SexyBack hitmaker, and Timberlake posted a clip of himself, along with his touring band The Tennessee Kids, pouring the freezing cold water over themselves, leaving them stunned and soaked.
Timberlake, who nominated his pal comedian Jimmy Fallon and his talk show band The Roots to take on the challenge, also posted on his Facebook.com page that they not only donated the $10, but added the $100 plus "a bunch more. It's such a good cause."
Timberlake's former 'N Sync bandmate Lance Bass has also taken the ice bucket challenge, as well as Martha Stewart, Ansel Elgort, Eliza Dushku, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Morrison, and Joanna Garcia Swisher.
A representative for the ALS Association told Mashable.com that the organisation has raised $160,000 (£95,322) between 29 July and 11 August (14), which is 10 times higher than the same time period in 2013.
Discovery Channel/Chris Fallows
Though we try our hardest to heed Tracy Jordan's advice, Discovery Channel's Shark Week is sadly a once-a-year phenomenon. It's the one time when everyone from kids to grandparents gather in front of the television to celebrate the ocean's most dangerous, fascinating, and surprisingly lovable creatures. You want shark attacks? Shark Week's got them. You want fascinating documentaries about scientific phenomena? They're here too. How about following brave, insane people into the darkest parts of the ocean to find the deadliest sharks in the world? There's one airing every two hours. Whether you're a newcomer to the joys of watching sharks bite cameras for four hours — it's much more entrancing than it sounds, trust us — or you've spent weeks pouring over the evidence of the Megalodon's existence, Shark Week's got something for you. We've broken down the network's prime time programming for the next six days to bring you a handy guide to the shark shows you really can't miss. Cue up the Jaws theme...
Most Likely to Make You Reevaluate Your Vacation Plans: Great White Serial Killer Part of the fun of Shark Week is learning about some of the legends and myths surrounding shark appearances, but Great White Serial Killer might top them all. See, according to locals, Surf Beach in California might be haunted by a great white shark that appears every year — on almost exactly the same day — to tear everything in sight to shreds. It’s the Jack the Ripper of Great Whites. If you were headed to California this year, you might want to see if your travel plans are flexible.Airs: August 11 at 8 pm
Proof that Everything is Better With Celebrity Appearances: Shark After Dark Regardless of how you might feel about after-shows like Talking Dead or After the Rose or Talking Bad, a Shark Week after-show will blow the rest of them out of the water. (For one thing, it doesn’t feel the need to shove the word “talking” into the title.) After all, the only thing better than discussing giant monster sharks with your friends is watching famous funny people talk about giant monster sharks. Don’t you want Sharknado survival tips from Tara Reid? Of course you do, you’re a human being.Airs: August 10 – 14 at 11 pm
Most Likely to Inspire a SyFy Movie: Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss After two sharknadoes, a sharktopus, and a pteracuda, where else can SyFy turn to find inspiration for another terrifying shark hybrid than outer space? Granted, the actual show is about a search for the elusive ghost shark, a species that has thus far never actually been spotted in person. But just imagine what the makers of Sharknado would be able to do with the idea of an alien shark. We’re thinking lasers of some kind, telekinesis, and the ability to survive on land thanks to differing conditions on their home planet. They wouldn’t even have to change the title.Airs: August 12 at 9 pm
(Runner Up: Lair of the Mega Shark, because if you’re dumb enough to jump into a Sharknado, you’re probably dumb enough to venture into a demon shark lair. Airs: August 12 at 10 pm)
Most Enticing Use of the Phrase “Pregnant Shark”: Spawn of Jaws 2: The Birthing Sure, the title sounds like a B-horror movie that will probably haunt your dreams for years to come, but Spawn of Jaws 2 actually centers on a surprisingly intriguing topic: baby sharks in the wild. Is there anything in this world more adorable and terrifying than the idea of tiny, infant sharks swimming around, biting everything they come across? You might have to watch a shark give birth first, but everything in life has a trade-off. Do it for the baby sharks.Airs: August 13 at 10 pm
Least Recommended to Watch with Dinner: I Survived Jaws 2 You know what pairs best with a nice bowl or a pizza and some beer? How about horrifically gruesome shots of people’s limbs being bitten off while the ocean around them slowly turns red with their blood? You’re probably going to find it impossible to look away from the television, but we can guarantee that by the time the first commercial rolls around, you’ll have lost your appetite. Do the smart thing and eat first, and then, give thanks for all of your limbs.Airs: August 14 at 9 pm
Best Opportunity for Drinking Games and Drunken Live-Tweeting: Megalodon: The Extended Cut and Megalodon: The New Evidence Look, nobody actually believes that the Megalodon exists. Like Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster before it, the Megalodon is the kind of ridiculously campy urban myth that makes it the perfect Shark Week programming to make fun of on social media. Real-life shark attacks are too serious and gruesome, sharks giving birth are too weird, shark hunts are too boring, but a 60-foot shark that should have gone extinct thousands of years ago but might still be lurking in the ocean’s depths? That’s Twitter and drinking game gold.Airs: August 15 at 8 pm and 10 pm, respectively