Comedian and actor Orlando Jones, 46, put his own twist on the ALS ice bucket challenge by dousing himself in shell casings in a video tribute to those whose lives have been taken unnecessarily by bullets.
The ALS ice bucket challenge began making the rounds on the Internet earlier this month, and millions of people around the world have been inundated with videos of their friends pouring freezing cold water on their heads to raise awareness for the motor neurone disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Even celebrities like Jessica Alba, Benedict Cumberbatch, Charlie Sheen and Patrick Stewart have participated in the challenge, and research funding for ALS -- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- is currently around $41 million.
Jones, an original cast member for sketch comedy series “MADtv,” wanted to use the challenge to raise awareness for a different issue.
“I think the intention behind the ice bucket challenge is great. … However, this past week I’ve watched an American city become something akin to a war zone. What’s happening in Ferguson looks like a copycat because we’ve seen it happen in so many cities around the world,” Jones said.
“It’s an us versus them mentality. … It all seems to stem from a militarized police forced threatening the rights of people to assemble.”
The actor told audiences he was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and an active member of the Louisiana state police force. He then challenged viewers to resist the urge to turn to hatred and violence.
“I’m challenging myself to listen without prejudice, to love without limits and to reverse the hate. That’s my challenge to me, and hopefully you’ll accept this challenge, too,” he said.