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U.N. leader asks Hollywood for help in fight against global climate change

'Together we can have a blockbuster impact on the world,' U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells Hollywood heavyweights at a forum on global climate change.

February 27, 2011|By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times

King's response — "Maybe we can get Angelina Jolie to light the lamps" — prompted chuckles from the audience.

One questioner suggested that the U.N. model its efforts on Hollywood, Health & Society, an initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies and foundations to incorporate into television shows information on such issues as cancer, diabetes, and AIDS.

Assistant Secretary-General Robert Orr agreed, saying, "It's a darn good playbook."

But Marshall Herskovitz, a veteran producer and director who has a climate-related project in the works, dismissed the comparison. "Everybody is interested in health," he said. "But audiences see climate change as a distant phenomenon that affects parts of the world we don't see."

Unfortunately, Herskovitz said, "the best messaging on climate change by far is by the deniers. Chevron has a brilliant TV campaign. They would lead you to believe that climate change is being solved by the oil business."

The U.N. campaign focuses not just on TV and movies, but also on social media. While in L.A., Ban met with members of the band Linkin Park, who borrowed a U.N. video on Haiti last year and set it to music, boosting its viewership from 6,000 to 6 million. The band pledged to help with the climate change campaign.

"I'm an Elvis kind of guy," Ban joked in his dinner speech. "But I am now Linkin Park's biggest fan."

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