Hollywood Reacts to Arrest of Kony 2012 Filmmaker Jason Russell
After the man behind viral sensation Kony 2012 was arrested in San Diego for allegedly masturbating in public, Hollywood responded with solidarity for and parody of Invisible Children, Inc. head Jason Russell.
TMZ captured video of a man believed to be Russell running around naked near a busy intersection Thursday. Russell was arrested and is currently being held for psychiatric observation, but police do not plan to press charges reports the NY Daily News.
After the arrest, some in the influential Hollywood demographic Russell hoped his video would reach took to Twitter to weigh in.
“In Jason Russell's defense, who DOESN'T celebrate a video going viral by jerking off in public?” tweeted comedian Patton Oswalt.
Oswalt also made reference to Mike Daisey, who is facing scrutiny this week after his Apple story for Public Radio International’s This American Life was retracted, as well as George Clooney, who was recently arrested in a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington.
“THE VIRAL ONES: (2012) Jason Russell, George Clooney & Mike Daisey are chained together & must escape public scrutiny,” Oswalt tweeted.
Community executive producer Dan Harmon mocked the speculation cable news outlets were making while reporting the arrest, portraying it as gibberish:
“All News Arrested for Public Masturbation and Vandalizing Journalism While Possibly Under the Influence of Stuff a Cop Said Someone Said,” Harmon tweeted.
Harmon added: “CNN and FOX agree: Do NOT accept uncorroborated propaganda from internet hippies that possibly drop acid and throw sperm at your car maybe.”
Not everyone thought there was humor to be found in the situation. The Big Bang Theory actor John Ross Bowie noted: “You realize this doesn't automatically make Joseph Kony a nice guy, right?”
One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush tweeted “Jason Russel is my friend” and posted a link to a blog post in which To Write Love on Her Arms founder Jamie Tworkowski praises Russel’s work.
Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey released a video Saturday assuring supporters that the mission of Kony 2012 would continue, saying the global spotlight put on the group by the video was “especially hard for Jason, because the story was so personal for him and his family.”
Kony 2012, a half hour documentary that has received nearly 100 million views online, wasn’t just about mobilizing support for removing Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. It was also a call for people of influence to add their voices to the cause, a call heeded by members of Hollywood from Angelina Jolie to Ben Affleck.
Russell’s wife released a statement Friday thanking supporters for concern for her husband.
“We’ll take care of Jason, you take care of the work. The message of the film remains the same: stop at nothing.”