Hollywood’s Helping Hand
Hollywood stars and recording artists from Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis to Madonna and Elton John joined forces last night in the US, raising money for victims of the Asian tsunami disaster in a nationally broadcast telethon.
Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope aired on NBC in a live two-hour broadcast in the East as well as a web cast, with a taped version showing in other areas and phone lines staying open through the night for contributions.
The phones were manned by many of Hollywood’s A-list, including Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, Ray Romano, supermodel Cindy Crawford and George Clooney, one of the telethon’s main organizers.
Other stars such as Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Clint Eastwood, Renee Zellweger, Goldie Hawn, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and Halle Berry appeared, some from locations such as New York and London, to issue appeals for donations or introduce segments recapping the calamity that hit South Asia on Boxing Day. Many also worked the phones during the show.
The show began with Morgan Freeman relating tales of survival and hope from the tsunami, followed by Madonna’s performance of John Lennon’s Imagine live from London.
Other musical performers included Nelly, Annie Lennox, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, and John, who performed Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me. The programme closed with Diana Ross singing her hit Reach Out and Touch.
A Red Cross executive assured contributors that 94 percent of the money would go directly to disaster victims.