Oprah Winfrey, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt among celebrities urging earthquake reliefBy Derrik J. Lang, AP
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Stiller, Pitt, other celebs urge quake relief
LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are among the celebrities and artists urging support for survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.
Doctors Without Borders announced Wednesday that Pitt and Jolie were contributing $1 million to the organization’s emergency medical operations responding to the earthquake. The organization said it is dispatching additional emergency staff, including a surgical team and equipment to establish a 100-bed inflatable tent hospital with two operating rooms.
“We understand the first response is critical to serve the immediate needs of countless people who are now displaced from their homes, are suffering trauma, and most require urgent care,” Pitt said in a statement.
Stiller tweeted late Tuesday that “people in Haiti need our help and attention right now.” Similar tweets are showing up from the likes of Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Adam Lambert and Ryan Leslie.
“It seems like across the wide spectrum of artists and people in the music industry and the movie industry and everything else, people are kind of joining together to help in whatever manner that they can,” Blink-182 bassist-vocalist Mark Hoppus told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Singer Wyclef Jean arrived in Haiti, his native country, on Wednesday. “I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse,” he said in a statement. “The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now.”
Publicist Leslie Chasky said he is focusing on his family, his Haitian charity, Yele, and responding to the disaster. Shakira, on her Web site, called for donations to Yele and to UNICEF.
Winfrey began her television talk show Wednesday by asking viewers to donate to the Red Cross. “This is a time where we, as a global nation, should come together and support those who are in need,” Winfrey said.
Lee Daniels, director of the film “Precious,” for which Winfrey served as executive producer, said Wednesday that the earthquake made this Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony seem “so unimportant.” Daniels’ film received three nominations.
“Ultimately, what we do is so unnewsworthy in comparison and so unimportant when you have things like this at hand,” Daniels said. “‘Precious’ seems so unimportant when casualties like that happen.”
Celebrities were invited to aid in Haitian relief by simply attending Platinum Publicity’s Hollywood Helping Haiti Golden Globes Lounge. Organizers promised donations would be made in honor of every celebrity who came to the lounge, and stars could further contribute by autographing items that could be auctioned to support Haitian relief.
Viacom Inc., whose companies include MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures, announced Wednesday that it was setting up a $500,000 matching gift program, with donations going to the Red Cross. The Walt Disney Co. also announced it was contributing $100,000 to the Red Cross.
Coldplay singer Chris Martin urged people to donate to a Haiti appeal set up by the charity Oxfam.
“I visited Haiti with Oxfam a few years ago. It’s a country of extreme poverty and brutal living conditions,” Martin said. “Most people in Port-au-Prince live in tin shacks. The earthquake that has struck Haiti will have turned the city into an unimaginable hell.”
Associated Press writers Hillel Italie, Nekesa Moody and Jake Coyle in New York, and Caryn Rousseau in Chicago contributed to this report.
Tags: Arts And Entertainment, Caribbean, Celebrity, Doctors without, Doctors without borders, Foreign Aid, Haiti, Latin America And Caribbean, Los Angeles, Music, North America, Red cross, United States, Yele