Celebrity Buzz: Pharrell, Al Gore unite for 'Live Earth' climate-change fest

Associated Press

Today's pop-culture roundup includes a happy approach to climate change, an example of how not to play follow-the-leader, the Sundance Film Festival, our mystery music video and much more.

CLIMATE HAPPY?: Not so much, per USA TODAY, “Al Gore and pop music sensation Pharrell Williams are hoping to build support for combating climate change through a worldwide music concert that will be broadcast to up to 2 billion people later this year. The former vice president is teaming up with the singer of the global hit Happy for a "Live Earth" music event, set to take place over 24 hours on several continents June 18. The concert is an attempt to galvanize interest in the topic ahead of key climate change talks in Paris in December.

“Gore and Williams were joined by entrepreneur and "Live Earth" producer Kevin Wall to unveil the initiative on stage at the World Economic Forum's 45th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The forum brings together high-ranking political figures, hundreds of CEOs and a sprinkling of celebrities through Saturday for workshops and discussions aimed at satisfying the forum's goal of "improving the state of the world."

SO-CALLED NO-GO ZONES: And an apology, per The Wrap, “On Wednesday, Anderson Cooper conceded he allowed erroneous claims about “no-go zones” for non-Muslims in France to go unchallenged on his CNN program.

“Beginning by noting he pointed out mistakes made by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Fox News surrounding the false meme, Cooper then turned to his own error. “If you’re going to point fingers at other people’s mistakes, you should also acknowledge your own mistakes and we didn’t do that on the program,” he said. “In the wake of the Paris attacks in France, several guests on this program mentioned “no go zones” in France. I didn’t challenge them and twice referred to them as well. I should have been more skeptical; I won’t make the same mistake again.”

“The “no go zones” meme began in the media following the Charlie Hebdo attack. On January 10th, terrorism analyst Steve Emerson told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro Birmingham, England is a city where non-Muslims do not enter.”

MEANWHILE: More ‘Inteview,’ per The Hollywood Reporter, “The Berlin International Film Festival is on high diplomatic alert after the North Korean government accused the Berlinale of "instigating terrorism" for a screening of Sony Pictures' The Interview during this year's festival.

“The problem: The Seth Rogen-James Franco film, about a farcical attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, isn't part of the Berlinale lineup. Sony Pictures Germany is releasing The Interview in Berlin, and across Germany, on Feb. 5, the same day that the 65th Berlinale begins. The release is not connected to the festival.”

RUSSELL SIMMONS: And strong words, per Variety, “Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons had harsh words about the business environment he has encountered in Hollywood now that he’s turned his focus to producing movies, TV shows and digital content. “The reality is the lack of integration is deafening,” he said Wednesday during a Q&A at the NATPE confab. “The segregation in Hollywood is incredible.”

“In a candid 45-minute conversation with Variety co-editor in chief Andrew Wallenstein, the Def Jam founder was critical of Hollywood “progressives” who have no understanding of African-American culture, even if they are well-meaning and liberal in their political views. He said he’s seen ample evidence of bias in the development process that tends to keep black creatives from working in an organically integrated way with white talent.”

BUTCH CASSIDY: And the Sundance Film Festival, per the Los Angeles Times, “Imagine an enormous magnet nestled in the heart of Utah's Wasatch Mountains. Every year its power increases, as does its ability to irresistibly attract everything in its path, from films to footwear companies. Congratulations, you've just imagined the Sundance Film Festival, opening for business Thursday night in plucky Park City.

“Mostly, of course, it's films that get attracted to Sundance, and though many are called, few are chosen. Exactly 4,105 features, more than half of them originating overseas, applied this time, and only 123 were selected, making the festival tougher than ever to get into.”

NBA TALENT: On the mic, per Rolling Stone, “Ariana Grande will perform at halftime of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, set for Sunday, February 15 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

“The 21-year-old singer – coming off a breakout year that included a Number 1 album, four Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, a pair of Grammy nominations and plenty of cat ears – is just the latest diva to perform during the NBA's showcase of the stars, following in the footsteps of Mariah Carey, Rihanna and Beyoncé.”

BRUCE’S ODD LOOK: Jenner to elaborate, per Us Weekly, “Bruce Jenner is finally ready to address his changing appearance, a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly. Following InTouch magazine’s January 26 Photoshopped cover, in which the former Olympian’s face was superimposed onto Dynasty star Stephanie Beacham’s body, the reality star is finally ready to talk.

“ "[Bruce] was upset by InTouch’s story,” a Keeping Up With the Kardashians source tells Us. And with the premiere of season 10 of their family’s reality show drawing near, the insider tells Us that Kris Jenner’s ex-husband, 65, will use the E! show as a platform to speak out.”

BEAUTY AND THE BIEBS: Important stuff, this, per X17, “Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin still won't admit that they're a couple (and a few months ago Biebs even claimed they were just friends!), but at this point we basically have to call them liars. Come on! You don't go on dinner dates and romantic vacations with your hot model model female friend if there's not some spark there.

“On Wednesday afternoon the super blonde duo went to lunch at Urth Caffe in West Hollywood, and they were dropped off in a fancy Mercedes. The did the same thing the previous day, so they really don't seemed concerned about maintaining a low profile.”

AND FINALLY: Today’s mystery music video:

--Skip Wood

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