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Entertainment Calendar for April 24, 2010

| April 24, 2010 9:00 PM

Weaver urges to protect oceans

WASHINGTON - Proponents of climate change legislation usually invoke the need to reduce global warming, but actress Sigourney Weaver is coming to the defense of something that's often out of sight - oceans.

"One secret the oceans have kept very well is their sensitivity to carbon dioxide pollution," Weaver said at a Senate hearing Thursday, as she urged lawmakers to pass climate legislation that would limit carbon emissions.

She made her pitch on the same day that a report from the National Research Council found that ocean chemistry is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years because of the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere. The resulting increased acidity of the oceans poses a serious threat to shellfish and other marine life.

Ocean acidification has been dubbed global warming's "evil twin."

"My hope, one shared by millions of Americans, is that you, our legislators, will put aside your differences and enact climate and energy legislation that will move America to a clean energy economy," Weaver said. She also urged other steps such as protecting marine and coastal habitats and reducing pollution.

It was Weaver's second Capitol Hill visit this month. Last week, the "Avatar" star and the movie's director, James Cameron, participated in a panel discussion on global environmental policies and sustainable approaches.

"I, like a lot of concerned citizens, feel a kind of urgency about these climate questions," Weaver said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think I've ever felt more passionately about anything than this because I feel we're already at a tipping point."

Weaver also appeared at a Capitol Hill luncheon to screen a documentary she narrates, "Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification," which was produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

'South Park' cuts speech after threat

NEW YORK - Producers of "South Park" said Thursday that Comedy Central removed a speech about intimidation and fear from their show after a radical Muslim group warned that they could be killed for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

It came during about 35 seconds of dialogue between the cartoon characters of Kyle, Jesus Christ and Santa Claus that was bleeped out.

"It wasn't some meta-joke on our part," producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone said. Comedy Central declined to comment.

Earlier this week, the radical group Revolution Muslim said on its Web site that "South Park" had insulted their prophet during last week's episode by depicting him in a bear costume.

The group said it wasn't threatening Parker and Stone, but it included a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004, and said the producers could meet the same fate. The Web site posted the addresses of Comedy Central's New York office and the California production studio where "South Park" is made.

Despite that, Parker and Stone included the Muhammad character in this week's episode. Muhammad appeared with his body obscured by a black box, since Muslims consider a physical representation of their prophet to be blasphemous. When the bear costume was removed, it was revealed to be Santa Claus.

Parker and Stone are known for waiting until the last minute to deliver episodes, often pulling all-nighters to get them done, and giving them the opportunity to address things in the news.

They said that in 14 years of making "South Park," which just had its 200th episode, they've never delivered one they couldn't stand behind.

"Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear," they said. "It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped ... We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it."

Besides the censored dialogue, only one inside joke in this week's episode could be interpreted as a reference to the Muslim group's warning.

During one scene, a mechanized Barbara Streisand robot is seen stomping through the town on a path of destruction. One voice is heard to say, "they've destroyed La Casa Bonita!"

"La Casa Bonita" is the name of Parker and Stone's production facility.

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