School district officials in Hudson, Wis. have apologized for using a bizarre 2009 “I Pledge” video for a local middle school’s Peace One Day event last week, reports nearby Fox affiliate KMSP.
The 2009 video, produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, features Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and several C- and D-list celebs fawning over and promising to serve President Barack Obama.
The short YouTube video was shown at Hudson Middle School on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
It begins with a title card proclaiming, “They say that the job of the president of the United States is the loneliest job in the world.” There’s a hagiographic image of President Barack Obama in the background.
The words “We’d like you to know you you’re not alone” then appear.
Then, after some solemn words by Obama himself, a series of famous and ostensibly-famous people appear on screen giving various pledges ranging from high-minded to moronic.
Ashton Kutcher, who starred in “Jobs” and “Dude, Where’s My Car?” pledges “to always represent my country with pride, dignity and honesty.”
Demi Moore, who starred in “A Few Good Men” and posed for a nude pictorial in Oui magazine in 1980, pledges to “smile more.”
Other pledges include oaths to use less bottled water, to plant trees and “to never give anyone the finger when I’m driving again.”
Near the end, Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer and recovering heroin addict Anthony Kiedis declares, “I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama.” He kisses each of his biceps for emphasis.
Similarly, Moore, standing next to Kutcher, pledges “to be a servant to our president.”
The day after the video was shown, Hudson Middle School principal, Dan Koch, announced to all students: “The ‘I Pledge’ video we viewed yesterday included some messages about serving President Barak [sic] Obama. We apologize for any part of the video that was offensive to students, their families and staff.”
“The video conveyed a message that people serve the presidency when in fact our elected officials serve the people,” he continued. “We respect the Office of the President of the United States but like all of our other elected officials, that office serves each of us as well. I sincerely hope that as participants in Wednesday’s event what you took away from the experience was to choose to make a difference in your world.”
In a statement, the school district admitted that the video “had a political slant.” District officials described themselves as “non-partisan.”
The full text of the school district’s statement is available here.
As KMSP notes, an obscure English filmmaker named Jeremy Gilley started Peace One Day in 1999 as “an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.”