What Mark Ruffalo's Oscars Red-Carpet Blue Pin Means: 'Gasland' Support
Supporting actor nom Mark Ruffalo wears a blue water-droplet pin to the Oscars to support Gasland director Josh Fox's cause: water that won't burst into flame and blow consumers' homes up.
Ruffalo, a clean-water activist who says his own home has been threatened by pollution, also joined Fox on Capitol Hill last week to protest the natural-gas industry practice of hydraulic fracturing -- "fracking," which Fox's documentary attacks. The film shows people lighting their kitchen faucets on fire -- thanks to fracking-induced gas, says Fox -- and says fracking can cause brain damage, cancer, and homes that explode. Some of his documentary subjects shower in the dark, fearing that a spark from a light bulb might blow them up. "The natural gas industry, they're out of their fracking minds," Fox told The Hollywood Reporter last week. "It's more than that. It's deliberate and it's calculated and it's designed to try to mar the film. It's like the tobacco lobby saying cigarettes don't cause cancer. But they can't control independent documentarians."
The documentary race is particularly hard to call, since so few voters determine the outcome. But many pundits say Gasland has a chance against front-runner Inside Job. Click here to find out about the group behind Ruffalo's pin, Water Defense.
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Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.