Hollywood stacks up to D.C.
Los Angeles -- Aaron Sorkin, creator of NBC's "The West Wing," says the sacrifices people in government make inspire many of the show's themes.
Sorkin was among those who took part in a discussion Wednesday night about how Hollywood's portrayal of government workers can inspire people to enter public service.
"It's a lot of hard work for the greater good without very much reward at all," Sorkin said.
But he also joked about the differences between Washington and Hollywood: "I think in Hollywood, the writing is better."
"Hollywood is dog-eat-dog," said "West Wing" co-executive producer Llewellyn Wells in his opening remarks. "And Washington is the complete reverse."
No stretch for Oscar nominee
Los Angeles -- The young Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes says she'll pass on taking a stretch limousine to her first Academy Awards.
The 13-year-old "Whale Rider" star and best actress contender is one of a handful of celebrities who will be chauffeured to the gala in a Toyota Prius to help promote the use of hybrid cars powered by gasoline and electricity.
"Even though I am not old enough to drive, I am old enough to know that the environment is in danger," Castle-Hughes said in a statement. "By taking a hybrid car to the Oscars, I can show my support for helping the environment."
Charlize Theron, Sting, Robin Williams, Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Will Ferrell were among those committed to arriving at the red carpet in a hybrid car.
'Jersey Girl' will imitate life
New York -- Director Kevin Smith has scrapped a scene from his upcoming film "Jersey Girl" in which Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's characters get married, according to Us Weekly magazine.
"I didn't know if (it was right) to leave it in," Smith says in the March 8 issue. "People might forget they're watching a picture, like, 'Wait, didn't these two NOT get married?'"
Affleck and Lopez were supposed to marry last September, but abruptly postponed their lavish plans "due to the excessive media attention surrounding our wedding." They have since ended their engagement.
"Jersey Girl" is set for release March 26.
Debate blooms over parade theme
Los Angeles -- The newly elected president of the Rose Parade says he was not trying to put himself in the middle of the furor over gay rights. But that is exactly what happened when he picked "Celebrate Family" as the parade theme.
Soon after last month's announcement, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn. received a flurry of e-mails, calls and letters from conservative groups and others worried that gay organizations might try to enter floats in the New Year's Day parade.
The president of the Rose Parade organization, David Davis, said he picked the theme for the 116th annual New Year's Day parade to honor the volunteer families who make the event happen.
"I guess you can call me blissfully naive," he said. "It's a simple idea that should be wholesome and all-American."