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Pop Culture

Paula Deen Cooks Up Some PR, Launches Her Own Network

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These people are the ones Paula Deen is totally banking on for PR-ofit

ICYMI: Despite her soulful appeal and her habit of cooking with fat, grease, and butter, Paula Deen wasn’t the most sensitive celebrity when it came to non-white people. To wit, she made an enemy of (most of) America, lost her Food Network affiliation, lost dozens of endorsements, and kissed most of her credibility goodbye.

She did, however, keep a surprising number of her fans. So, following a failed ‘Today Show’ apology, Paula Deen drifted into the easy bake oven in the sky…or so it seemed.

Now she’s back, y’all — and she’s hoping to cash in with a new paid venture.

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Girls Are Scientists, Too: LEGO Responds to Customer Demands for Female Minifigures

lego 1_0Last week we told you about Disney coming to the hard-won, customer-fueled realization that girls like Star Wars, too, and that it might be a good idea to make Princess Leia toys (who knew??). Now, thanks to consumer demand, LEGO has come to a similar conclusion; the company has just announced the approval of the “Research Institute” set, which will feature a female astronomer, chemist, and a paleontologist.

A few months back, we covered the story of a little girl named Charlotte, who, dissatisfied with the limited selection of female minifigures and their stereotypical themes (beauty parlor, shopping, etc.), wrote a strongly-worded letter to LEGO, saying:

“My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I have LEGOs, but I don’t like that there are more LEGO boy people and barely any LEGO girls. Today I went to a store and saw LEGOs in two sections…All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun OK?!?”

Little Charlotte, it seems, is nowhere near alone in her strong sentiment; Read more

George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

Adventures in Marketing: Dothraki Language Course Is a Real Thing

Living Language Dothraki_ A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones(Paperback) Book | HBO ShopHave you ever wanted to ask out the Mother of Dragons herself, Daenerys Targaryen, but were held back only by the language barrier? Never fear: Language Dothraki: A Conversational Language Course Based on the Hit Original HBO Series Game of Thrones is here.

A mouthful of a name? Sure. But so are most of the names in the book series and show. The new guide to Dothraki, compiled by acclaimed language and culture consultant David J. Peterson, features over 500 words and phrases, some of which were made up exclusively for the course, and will cover everything from vocabulary and grammar to pronunciation and cultural notes.

Three versions of the system (the basic package, the expanded online course, and one with a companion mobile app) will be available for your educational needs on October 7th, but all three are currently available for pre-order — because the marketers are no dummies, and likely wanted to ensure the promo was announced while the current season of the show was going strong. Read more

Jonah Hill Gives Good Apology

shutterstock_170008331Another day, another celebrity pulling an Alec Baldwin on an innocent professional photographer.

This isn’t really news, but when TMZ calls your apology “near perfect“, there might just be lessons to learn…

22 Jump Street star and surprise Oscar nominee Jonah Hill showed everyone else in L.A. how to kiss and make up after telling an overeager paparazzo to “s— my d—” over the weekend and throwing in a homophobic slur for good measure.

For some reason, Hill thought that Howard Stern would be “the perfect person to talk to about this“–and he proceeded to hit every note on his one-stop apology tour.

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Donald Sterling’s Apology Tour Swings by an Historically Black L.A. Church

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Pic via ABC 13

The latest version of Donald Sterling‘s attempt to extend his period of infamy to twenty full minutes might strike the average reader as a bit misguided: the soon-to-be-former Clippers owner showed up at the predominately Black Zion Baptist church in downtown Los Angeles yesterday armed with a full film crew and a couple of bodyguards who resembled slightly less intimidating versions of The Mountain.

Those dudes weren’t there to break skulls, though. They simply wanted to help their boss enjoy the “warm welcome” he received from the congregation at the “beautiful” service.

Your short, painfully awkward video after the jump.

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Imgur, Reddit and Boing Boing Launch Anti-NSA Campaign

Reset the Net

This coming Thursday, June 5, major websites including Reddit, Imgur, Boing Boing and others plan to take part in a collective effort to push back against government surveillance online.

The “Reset The Net” campaign, coordinated by Fight for the Future, will feature multiple websites showing a splash screen to all visitors, encouraging them to install privacy and encryption tools. Meanwhile, other sites plan to bone up their own privacy by enabling standards like HTTPS, which stops outside parties from “listening in” on what site users are up to.

General Manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, said of his company’s decision to join the campaign, “We can take back control of our personal and private data one website, one device, one internet user at a time. We’re proud to stand up for our users’ rights and help Reset the Net.” Read more

Pat Sajak to America: ‘I’d Like to Buy a Clue About Twitter and Climate Change’

the_pat_sajak_show-showFor decades, outside of a lapse in judgement to host a talk show (pictured here), Pat Sajak has been one of the most beloved individuals in TV history.

How hard is it to develop bad PR asking a woman to exercise her alphabetical skills and wear borrowed clothing? Not difficult at all.

And then, Pat Sajak discovered Twitter.

To wit, trolls showed up at his doorstep to play the bonus round any time he wished. He did this week when he decided that on behalf of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ fans everywhere, Pat Sajak has been quiet too long on … climate change?! 

Yeah, this happened.

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Is Instagram Now ‘the Best Crisis PR’ Tool?

That’s what Maureen O’Connor of New York magazine’s fashion blog The Cut claimed this morning.

The idea is that celebrities in crisis mode are turning to Instagram, rather than more traditional press outlets, to let the public know that they’re ON IT and they GET IT. No biggie.

O’Connor’s key example is Beyoncé, who first responded to the we’re-already-sick-of-this Jay Z elevator story not by issuing a press release or scheduling an interview but simply posting a bunch of pics of herself with both her husband and her sister, Solange.

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She even posted an image of herself with Rihanna, the subject of various rumors regarding the reason for the fight.

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Someone FINALLY Defends Beyoncé’s Sister

Yes, this work is from an ad agency (BBDO South Africa). Yes, it originally appeared in print.

We still find it noteworthy because, as big as the hotel elevator story was, this is the first real brand mention of it that we’ve seen.

Feel free to correct us if we’re wrong. In the meantime, we’re not-so-secretly glad that Bey and Jay put that fire out so quickly, because we can’t see those jokes ending well.

Some pop culture stories are best left alone.

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