Ashton Kutcher, among the Hollywood figures at this week’s Clinton Global Initiative, was asked at one of the forums about the democratizing power of social media. As moderator Arianna Huffington put it, if “everyone is his or her own Ashton Kutcher, who needs Ashton Kutcher?” “I have been asking myself that for a number of years,” he replied.
With wife Demi Moore in the audience, Kutcher said that they are about the embark on an advocacy campaign to end child sex trafficking, an extension of their work in stopping human slavery.
In the activist world, Kutcher’s Twitter-led campaign to point to the problems of malaria in Africa helped generate more than 200 “consumer impressions” on the web, he said, underscoring the power of social media to highlight issues that wouldn’t get play elsewhere. A case in point may be the fact that much of the coverage of CGI has focused on former President Bill Clinton’s impressions of the upcoming midterms.
Kutcher said, “I believe that issues like (child sex trafficking) have a hard time coming to light in a media sphere that populates our media with issues that generally can be seen as profitable.”
He praised Lady Gaga for her campaign to lobby senators to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “Just her standing up and saying that out loud, and rallying other voices that go, ‘Wait a second, maybe this is an old idea that needs a new solution. I think her making that commitment publicly could be just as powerful as anybody standing up on stage and making that statement to the press standing in the back or to a live video stream.”
Also at the Clinton conference were Barbra Streisand and James Brolin, Ben Stiller, Shakira and Jim Carrey, among others.
Carrey appeared on a panel to talk about sustainable agriculture, and he highlighted his Better U Foundation‘s work on a system to help farmers cultivate higher yielding rice crops that require less water and seed. “I am not a farmer, but I did grow a couple of plants in the late 70s that were confiscated by our parents,” he quipped at the panel, which also included Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
More Bush Whacking: Vulture
has the details of the Wachowski brothers’ next project, “Cobalt
Neural 9,” about a Marine who falls for an Iraqi soldier, and they then
plot to assassinate President George W. Bush. That is the sanitized
Democracy Is: The six winners of the State Department’s Democracy Video Challenge screened their works at the Directors Guild of America on Tuesday. The challenge, co-sponsored by the MPAA, NBC Universal and YouTube, asked participants around the world to submit three-minute videos answering the question, Democracy Is… The winners from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Spain, Iran, Nepal and Colombia. Iranian Farbod Khoshtinat’s entry, “Attn. Mr. Democrat,” is below.
Friday Itinerary: Paul Hodes, running for Senate in New Hampshire, raises money in Beverly Hills at an event co-hosted by Michael Lombardo, Patricia Mayer, Janis Nelson, Jennifer Perry and Andy Spahn.
And for the Weekend: On Saturday, Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito are co-hosts of a fund-raiser for Barbara Boxer in Hidden Hills, with Melissa Etheridge providing entertainment.
On Sunday, Pat Boone leads a Tea Party rally in Beverly Hills…On the opposite end of the spectrum, the ACLU of Southern California honors Ryan Murphy, Mike Farrell and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley at its annual Garden Party at the Brentwood home of Stanley and Betty Sheinbaum…Bryan Lourd hosts a fund-raiser for Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), in a competitive race to hold on to his congressional seat.