'Carmageddon': Tom Hanks urges Twitter followers to eat and shop locally
Actor Tom Hanks gave a boost to the Los Angeles Police Department's "Carmageddon" media strategy, warning his 2.2 million Twitter followers to avoid the 405 closure.
Police had asked celebrities, including Ashton Kutcher, William Shatner and Lady Gaga, to post on Twitter about the closure of a stretch of the 405 Freeway this weekend.
Instead of urging people to leave town, Hanks urged them to shop and eat in their neighborhoods.
"This weekend, LA! Avoid Carmageddon, Gas-zilla, 405-enstein, Grid-lock-apalooza! STAY HOME. Eat & shop local! Hanx," he wrote. Eating and shopping locally is being suggested by many store and restaurant owners on L.A.'s Westside who have expressed concern that the potential traffic nightmare will scare away customers.
To help get the word out, the LAPD targeted celebrities with more than 500,000 followers on Twitter as people who could help them deliver the message.
Kutcher, who has 7 million followers on the social media site, joked on Twitter: "LAPD askd me 2tweet: 405fwy btwn 10 & 101 will b closed July16-17. In xchange I would like a free pass on that stoplight tickt IT WAS YELLOW."
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the 2010 Emmy Awards. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times