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By Amy & Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture PassionistasThis week we were inspired by a wide array of pop culture events. There was a mother defending her “Precious” daughter, a collection of stars gathering to Make-A-Wish, a little guy making it big in Hollywood, a rich actor working to end poverty, and a “Golden Girl” proving that age shouldn’t keep anyone from making a comeback. Here are our favorite inspirational pop culture moments of the week:Gabourey Sidibe and Her Mother’s Words of WisdomNot every girl has a super supportive mom like Gabourey Sidibe’s. This past week, the Oscar nominee’s mother, Alice Tan Ridley, defended her daughter after shock jock Howard Stern made remarks about Gabby’s weight that were so mean spirited, we refuse to reprint them here. The bottom line is that Stern makes it seem like you have to be a size zero to be a successful actress, obviously forgetting Sidibe’s Oscar winning co-star Mo’Nique and Emmy winner Camryn Manheim, among so many other plus size talents. Ridley told Entertainment Newswire. “Gabby is a big girl… so what’s wrong with that? She’s not like everyone else in the world.”Alice should know a thing or to about persevering in the face of rejection. She herself is a singer who performs in New York City subway stations. She’s passed on this very important piece of motivational advice to her daughter, which she shared with BV Newswire, “”f they didn’t make you, don’t let them break you.”Clearly Gabby’s taken her mother’s word to heart. On the heals of “Precious,” she’s already signed on as a recurring guest in Showtime’s new series “The Big C” and her next film, “Yelling to the Sky,” is in post production. Stars Gather to Make-A-Wish Come TrueOn Sunday, 1,200 Make-A-Wish kids and family members met some of their favorite celebrities including Adam Sandler, Mischa Barton, and Anna Paquin. Kevin James (“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” and “The King of Queens”) and his wife Staffania hosted the star-studded event at the Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park, and invited all of their famous friends to join the celebration.The park was closed to the public as some of Hollywood’s big names gathered to sign autographs and play games with the wish kids. Mischa Barton had her face painted and manned the Ring Toss booth. Tom Arnold was in charge of the darts game, while Matt Bomer helped out at the water guns. Anna Paquin and her “True Blood” co-star and real-life fiance Stephen Moyer were seen spinning on the Scrambler.James said he was honored to host the successful event, remarking, “The smiles and love in the eyes of these children has left an impression on us that will be cherished for a very long time. We are especially thankful to the many friends who took the time to help make this such an enjoyable event.” Here’s some video from the event:Shrek Scores One for the Little GuyThis week the little guy got a big break on a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Dreamworks cast a complete unknown to voice the character of Rumpelstiltskin in “Shrek Forever After,” the final installment in the fairy tale series. Walt Dohrn will take his place alongside A-List celebrities like Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas. Dohrn has been a writer and animator for over ten years working on projects like “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Madagascar,” and “Mr. Magoo.” This is also the third “Shrek” movie he has participated in on some level — working in the art department, writing a song, story editing, or even voicing a few minor characters in “Shrek the Third.” But this time, Dohrn will play a lead role. As part of his behind the scenes work, Dohrn recorded the dialogue so the digital artists had a “scratch track” to animate to. Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffery Katzenberg loved the way he read Rumpelstiltskin so much, he cast Dohrn as the villain. Rumpelstiltskin is Shrek’s main adversary in the latest reimagined fairy tale with a plot similar to “It’s a Wonderful Life” where we see what Far Far Away would be like if Shrek was never born.It might be that villainous actors are ruing the day that Dohrn was ever born, taking a nice juicy gig from a big name star. We prefer the era when voice over actors were not chosen for their fame, but for their voice. Score one for the little guy.Antonio Banderas Spreads Good WillSpanish actor Antonio Banderas was named UN Goodwill Ambassador this week, and will lend his support to the Millennium Development Goals program, which plans to cut world poverty in half by 2015. In a statement, Banderas said, “Poverty robs us of our potential as a people, preventing us from being all that we can be. This is why it is so important to mobilize all of our efforts to defeat it, especially if today we have the knowledge, the tools and the resources to do it.”In representing the organization, Banderas joins a legion of previously appointed altruistic celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, George Clooney, and Maria Sharapova. All have used their high profiles to raise awareness of important causes around the world. A truly inspiring use of power and fame.Betty White – The “Saturday Night Live” Campaign Takes OffWe should all be lucky enough to enjoy a career one-tenth as long as Betty White’s and to have a fraction of her success. But it’s a true inspiration to see that the 88-year-old, multi-Emmy winning actress is not only still working but has found a completely new fan base. Thanks to her hilarious role in last year’s Sandra Bullock flick “The Proposal” (the one Sandy didn’t win the Oscar for) and an even funnier Super Bowl commercial for Snickers, White is popular with a whole new generation. So revered, in fact, that a Facebook campaign started demanding that White host “Saturday Night Live.” “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!” quickly accumulated over 500,000 fans – that’s about 200,000 more than the official “SNL” Facebook page has. And the mission was a success. White is scheduled to host on May 8 over Mother’s Day weekend. And as if that wasn’t enough, she’s just signed on for a season of the new sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland.” White’s reinvigorated career and the success of the social networking movement prove that old adage that you can do anything if you can set your mind to it.Read more from The Pop Culture Passionistas

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