Sat, May 03, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Stars campaign against rights abuse


Will Ferrell, Jennifer Aniston and Ellen Page are among those lending their celebrity status to a new campaign focusing attention on Myanmar’s military-run government.

Jim Carrey previously filmed a public service announcement to raise awareness about the Southeast Asian country and human-rights leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

But starting on Thursday, the message would be on a much larger scale. A video will be released each day this month starring Ferrell, Aniston, Page, Sarah Silverman, Sylvester Stallone, Anjelica Huston, Woody Harrelson and Judd Apatow, among others.

The celebs appear solo or in scenes together on behalf of the Human Rights Action Center and the US Campaign for Burma.

The spots are more like short films than public service announcements and will be blasted across the Internet on sites such as YouTube and MySpace, Jeremy Woodrum, co-founder of the US Campaign for Burma, said this week.

In Ferrell’s bit, he nods to an unseen person when he correctly pronounces the name of Suu Kyi, who’s under long-term house arrest.

In rare serious mode, Ferrell says: “Every now and again, a single person or event captures the imagination and inspiration of the world. This moment belongs to Burma, and to Aung San Suu Kyi. Please honor her courage, honor your compassion and let this month be the month you join an effort to change the world.”

Woodrum said the spots could possibly influence Myanmar’s government leaders who recognize the famous faces.

“When stars speak out, it undermines the military’s authority in a different kind of way than when political leaders do, and it gives support and hope to the opposition,” Woodrum said.

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