News

Stars to turn out for Haiti telethon Friday

Denise Martin and Matea Gold
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Less than 24 hours after an earthquake devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, George Clooney was on the phone with MTV Networks president Judy McGrath trying to orchestrate a star-studded telethon to raise funds for its victims.

Clooney, who helped organize televised benefits for Sept. 11 and 2004's South Asian tsunami, told MTV on the Golden Globes' red carpet, "There are times in our life when people are really without any form of help and in real danger. This is one of those times."

Since that first phone call, more than 100 actors and musicians have signed on to headline "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief," which airs Friday night commercial-free on more than 60 networks and online. Clooney and hip-hop star Wyclef Jean, a native Haitian, will host the event from Los Angeles and New York, respectively, and CNN's Anderson Cooper will report live from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Top-billed performers include Beyonce, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Bono, Jay-Z and Coldplay. In addition, former President Bill Clinton and actors Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Chris Rock, Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Robert Pattinson, Tom Hanks and Will Smith will appear.

According to MTV, it will be the most widely distributed telethon ever. Executive producer Joel Gallen said Thursday that the event will be difficult to miss.

The networks airing the event include ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT. "Hope for Haiti Now" also will air across MTV Networks Worldwide, which reaches 640 million households, and CNN International, available in 260 million.

Gallen reached out to CNN after he was recruited by MTV to pull it together. Susan Bunda, executive vice president of content development and strategy for CNN Worldwide, said the event is a natural extension of the network's efforts to provide viewers with ways to get involved when they are moved by the news.

"Hope for Haiti Now" will include taped pieces featuring CNN's coverage of the disaster in Haiti, putting CNN reporters in an odd position of helping raise money for organizations whose work they are covering. Cooper, in particular, has raised questions on the air about the delay in getting medical supplies to doctors treating the wounded in Haiti.

But Bunda said she does not think CNN's involvement in the telethon poses a conflict. "I don't look at it as our reporters are advocating for any one charity," she said. "The role our team will be playing is in telling stories about the people of Haiti."

Gallen said he'd worked with each of the artists to select songs that would best fit the event's tone; most will not be singing their hits. "They'll be singing songs that they have an emotional connection to and that best reflect their feelings about this tragic situation," he said. The evening's performances will be widely available for purchase and download.

"Hope for Haiti Now" will benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation and the newly formed Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. The event begins accepting donations Friday at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.

Music

Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

A Lesson from the Avengers for Our Time of COVID-19

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Music

Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.

Music

Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

Reviews

HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.

Music

Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Music

How Lasting Is the Legacy of the Live 8 Charity Concert?

A voyage to the bottom of a T-shirt drawer prompts a look back at a major event in the history of celebrity charity concerts, 2005's Live 8, Philadelphia.

Music

Jessie Ware Embraces Her Club Culture Roots on Rapturous 'What's Your Pleasure?'

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.

Music

Paul Weller Dazzles with the Psychedelic and Soulful 'On Sunset'

Paul Weller's On Sunset continues his recent streak of experimental yet tuneful masterworks. More than 40 years into his musical career, Weller sounds as fresh and inspired as ever.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.