Pop Culture

Mel Gibson not heading Down Under

While Mel Gibson’s world seems to be imploding around him, it’s business as usual for the actor, who is at work on a film and has no plans to vacate the country.

On Sunday, the Daily Mail alleged that Gibson would be fleeing to Australia, the country to which he and his family moved when he was 12. But Gibson’s rep Alan Nierob confirms that Gibson is planning on staying put in the U.S., saying, “there’s no truth to the Mail story.”

Gibson, who is in a bitter custody dispute with his ex Oksana Grigorieva and is believed to be the man threatening Grigorieva on leaked tapes, is continuing to work amid the controversy.

His rep also confirmed that Gibson “did shoot in NYC two weeks ago,” for his upcoming film, “The Beaver.” That shoot took place after the July 1 release of the first tape, and overlapped with the time period in which Grigorieva filed a domestic violence complaint against Gibson, and Gibson was dropped by his talent agency, William Morris Endeavor.

“The Beaver,” which co-stars and is directed by Jodie Foster, has no scheduled release date yet. Nierob said that would be up to the film’s distributor, Summit, which had no comment.

Welcome to the ‘Community,’ Betty White America’s grandma, Betty White, is making another stop on television. This time, to NBC’s “Community.”

(TODAYshow.com is part of msnbc.com, which is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC.)

The 88-year-old actress will guest star on the Sept. 23 premiere of the second season, where she will play an off-kilter anthropology professor, influenced by the character White played in the Snickers football commercial.

“She's sort of my version of Joseph Campbell if he wasn't interested in being polite,” said creator Dan Harmon to TV Guide Magazine. “She has a great deal of knowledge, she's a student of humanity and therefore knows there's a very blurry line between man and animal.”

He said White’s character will be knowledgeable, quirky and “very lucid, to the point of maybe being scary.” The role is designed so White can come back as a recurring character if she enjoys doing it, which Harmon hopes she will.

“I've been a fan for a long time, so I wrote to capitalize on the stuff she's brought to the table for a long time,” Harmon said.

Chris and Malaak Rock focus on charityChris Rock and his wife Malaak might live a long way from Chris’ onetime neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, but they haven’t forgotten about it.

"There is a crisis in our education system, nationwide, including Brooklyn, which is where my husband, Chris Rock, grew up. (Only) 34.9% of students are graduating from the local high school in his old neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant,” Chris’ wife Malaak Rock said to TODAYshow.com. “Because of these startling statistics, we have to think out of the box on how we engage children and inspire them to have dreams for their future."

Which is why the Rocks teamed up with Charity Folks to raise money for their own charity, Journey for Change: Empowering Youth Through Global Service. The organization helps send kids from Rock's old neighborhood to Africa for volunteer opportunities. The comedian and his wife are auctioning off some exclusive prizes, including a courtside double date with them at an upcoming New York Knicks game.

The auction closes Tuesday.

Dreamy weekendIf there was any question about Leonardo DiCaprio’s box office bankability, look no further than “Inception” for your answer. His new sci-fi thriller made $60.4 million this weekend.

“Despicable Me” was a distant No. 2 with $32.7 million, and the other new release, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” came in No. 3 with $17.4 million.

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on today.msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

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