By Elizabeth Willoughby on
With the press watching their every move, more and more stars are making their moves count by sharing the spotlight with United Nations missions.
In the past months alone, actress Drew Barrymore pledged $1 million to the United Nations’ World Food Program to bring attention to rising food prices; actress and Avon Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon began raising money for the United Nations Development Fund For Women for education, job training and better laws for underprivileged women; Bono raised an impressive $42 million at his (RED) charity auction for the United Nations Foundation AIDs programs; and actress and UNICEF spokeswoman Salma Hayek promoted her anti-tetanus campaign on Oprah.
Outspoken actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow uses her celebrity in ways that politicians might not, relentlessly reminding us of the tragic details of Dafur. Farrow says, “I’m completely free to say anything I want. I have no trade agreements with anyone.”
George Clooney, the latest to be named Messenger of Peace by the United Nations for his efforts in Chad, Congo and Dafur, told ABC News, “I think what they’re looking to gain from [awarding me] is cameras following me to places that they’re trying to get attention to and that’s fine. That’s a good use of celebrity if you ask me.”
Celebrity faces fronting causes may help attract broader attention or raise bigger money more quickly, but it may also do something for the celebrity.
Actress and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie, who is pushing governments to plan an Iraq refugee relief effort, told ABC News, “[Activism] gives celebrity some reason. Celebrity is very weird… So when you’re doing something good and you can bring attention to that or discuss that, then it feels like you have some sense in your life.”
Copyright © 2008 Look to the Stars