What Celebs Are Saying, Doing About the BP Oil Spill
By Zach Dionne Posted May 28th 2010 01:10PM
When there's a gargantuan, seemingly unstoppable oil spill polluting the Gulf of Mexico and threatening America's southern shores, people are going to weigh in -- your mom, the President, local news anchors, Michael Ian Black ... wait, Michael Ian Black?
Indeed. Turns out a handful of celebrities have voiced their thoughts on the crisis. "Maybe the cast of 'Jersey Shore' can just walk around the gulf. Wouldn't the oil be drawn to them magically?" actor-comedian Black tweeted.
After the jump, everything else celebrities are saying about the oil spill.
First, the facts: An April 20 explosion of a British Petroleum rig began sending at least 210,000 gallons of oil from the ocean floor into the sea each day. Yesterday, President Obama spoke out: "We will demand [BP] pay every dime they owe for the damage and painful losses they've caused." He'll spend today in New Orleans.
Some celebrities are taking a less heavy-handed approach to the catastrophe:
Black refers, of course, to one of many proposed solutions to containing and/or eliminating the glut of oil -- a sufficiently James Bond-sounding technique called "top kill."
Black's other sardonic tweets have included, "I'm probably in the minority here, but I think all that oil is pretty" and "I spilled some olive oil in my kitchen and the dog licked it right up. We need to get some dogs to the Gulf ASAP."
In the department of even darker humor, a sneaky Twitter ninja has spearheaded a fake BP account, unleashing tweets like "The good news: Mermaids are real. The bad news: They are now extinct. #bpcares" and "'Beverly Hillbillies' marathon on TBS -- now THESE guys knew what to do with an oil leak!"
Jimmy Fallon referenced the venomous Twitter account in a brilliant monologue joke, saying, "BP wants Twitter to shut down a fake BP account that is mocking the oil company. In response, Twitter wants BP to shut down the oil leak that's ruining the ocean."
Stephen Colbert also weighed in: "I wouldn't say oil has spilled -- it just didn't stay in the rig ... No one knows what the f*** they're doing." The funnyman then debuted his Oil Containment Solution Randomizer. Check out the video:
CNN went to their trusty iReporters (i.e. the public) for ideas on how to solve the oil slick. The celeb twist? They had Bill Nye the Science Guy address the readers' ideas in a cool video.
AOL News this week pondered Hollywood's curious lack of aid to the Gulf cause, cross-referencing the situation with the recent $1.3 billion raised for earthquake-stricken Haiti:
Last week, Lenny Kravitz, Mos Def, John Legend and others took part in Gulf Aid, a fundraising concert held in New Orleans, which producer Ben Jaffe says raised $350,000 for fishing families and wetlands restoration. Louisiana native and actor Ian Somerhalder, who earned moderate fame as one of the first major characters [Boone] to get the boot during season one of 'Lost,' filmed a few PSAs for the Audubon Institute and told the Los Angeles Times, "I never talk about politics, but right now is a time to be angry and sad."
Speaking of Kevin Costner, the 'Waterworld' star is a tireless environmentalist who has dedicated years (and a fortune) to an armada of seawater-cleaning machines called Ocean Therapy. "It's like a big vacuum cleaner," Costner's business partner, John Houghtaling, told the New York Daily News. A big vacuum that works from a barge and sucks up tons of polluted water, separates the oil and finishes with 97 percent clean water.It's possible that man-made disasters just don't command the sort of sympathy as natural ones ... But then, survivors of 1986's Chernobyl accident garnered support from Michael Stipe, Bono and Helena Christensen, while Exxon Valdez inspired Kevin Costner to spend $26 million of his own money to hire a team of engineers and scientists to create a way to separate oil from seawater. More likely, it's just a result of unfortunate timing. Sean Penn remains in Haiti, and Brad Pitt's still going on about Katrina. And, well, awards season isn't for another nine months.
"I've lost $40 million-plus," Costner said. "But I knew that if I was right, it would change things in an incredibly positive way."
The News reports Costner has 300 Ocean Therapy machines in different sizes. The largest machine (two-and-a-half tons) can clean water "at a rate of 200 gallons a minute -- faster than the well is leaking."
In a Huffington Post interview, Donnell Rawlings, a comedian known for playing Ashy Larry on 'Chappelle's Show,' joked, "Ashy Larry is moisture-deprived. I think if I go out there and swim like 10 or 12 miles a day, I think that I can contribute to containing the oil spill."
And Conan O'Brien chimed in, of course:
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