I love when celebrities speak their minds, because 1) it is interesting to hear what they have to say, and 2) their minds are often filled with controversial statements. Actors especially are given crap for giving their opinions, but really how is it different for them to advertise a cause or point of view than to sell fashion or goods? Is it different because they aren't getting paid for their thoughts? Is it okay for them to support charities and causes through events but not through interviews? And shouldn't Susan Sarandon, who is well known for being one of the more outspoken celebrities in the world today, find another way to attempt communication with more conservative-minded people than by way of her own voice? Here are the latest in celebrity causes and criticisms:
  • According to the Daily News, Sarandon is one of a few celebrities trying to get The Ground Truth seen by members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and subsequently one of a few now slamming the military for lack of interest. On Veteran's Day, the actress joined Cher, Paul Haggis, Olivia Wilde and others for a special AOL event, during which they spoke with war veterans and promoted the documentary. Now, apparently Cher has made 5,000 copies of the film's DVD for American soldiers to view, but Army, Navy and Marine Corps bases are not showing any thanks. An Army spokeswoman responded via the newspaper, saying that the film is an activist piece, not a documentary, and says that it, "has a definite point of view," adding that the military isn't encouraging soldiers to boycott the film, but it isn't interested in promoting it to them (what does she find more suitable for the troops? Sahara). While it is obvious that The Ground Truth has a bit of a slant -- it would be impossible for it not to -- I found it mostly unbiased, actually. You can read my review of the film here.
  • Robin Williams seems less a fan of documentaries, choosing to discuss the importance of global warming via his new animated film, Happy Feet, than in a non-fiction film like An Inconvenient Truth or even March of the Penguins. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the cartoon, so I'll have to take his word for it that it features a subtle, serious message.
  • Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn criticized the majority of modern-day actors and actresses in a Reuters interview. The actress, who won an Academy Award for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, claims that television has lowered the bar for acting, though Hollywood isn't the only place it shows; she also says that Broadway is lacking in quality, too. She supposedly didn't name any names, but considering she provided some kudos to the cast of The Departed, I have to wonder if she wasn't a fan of her co-stars in The Fountain.
  • Edward Norton also slammed his peers by attacking the current crop of pre-Oscar award ceremonies. He says that by having so many events for self-congratulation the industry is " ... debasing the integrity and specialness of the Academy Awards." I wonder if Norton, who has been nominated twice for an Oscar, but has never won, is unhappy with any of the awards that he actually has received. I also wonder if he realizes that by speaking out against pre-Oscar awards, he is doing a good job of ensuring he won't get a nod for The Painted Veil.
  • Finally, Trial and Error star Michael Richards said some things I can't repeat, and then apologized. I don't think I even need to comment.