Gordon’s Corner: Celebrity activism

Every now and then I’ll see or hear people complain about celebrity activists, as if it’s all empty rhetoric and self-serving posturing, which is troubling. In spite of all the stars who do come off like asses (some of the time), it seems to me that people dying to find some sort of perceived hypocrisy with every star really just want to believe that nothing good can be accomplished in the world, and their attitude is merely one of justifying the apathy they live their own lives by.

The New York Times has a great article about celebrity activism, largely about Natalie Portman’s involvement with FINCA, a microfinancing organization Portman for which serves as “ambassador.” Portman states, “(It) seems totally nuts to me… that in our country I can get a meeting with a representative more easily than the head of a nonprofit can.” And it is nuts, but when she makes millions per film for a few months of dedicated work and a few rounds of promotion, all to make two-hour entertainments; if, in her copious time off, she can help promote a worthwhile non-profit that’s trying to make a difference in third world countries or get a few people to switch to compact fluorescents, simply by being who she is, why should she not?

Another celebrity the article touches on is George Clooney, who was recently named the UN’s “messenger of peace” and is a co-founder of Not On Our Watch, with Brad Pitt, Matt Damn, Don Cheadle and Jerry Weintraub.

Posted on March 9, 2008 at 10:34 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: Around the Intertubes · Tagged with: , ,

4 Responses

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  1. Written by MC
    on 2008-03-09 at 12:44

    While I do think some celebrities have ulterior motives when it comes to activism, there are many that truly put their money where their mouth is, and I respect them more for it.

  2. Written by Brennan
    on 2008-03-09 at 19:23

    As long as this guy isn’t around

    the celebrity promoting a cause doesn’t seem to hurt it. Look at Angelina Jolie. Not only does she spend a huge amount of time helping impoverished countries, she also adopts locals.

  3. Written by Brennan
    on 2008-03-09 at 19:24

    Ok that should have been a pic of Sean Penn in a boat during his Katrina tour. My bad.

  4. Written by Nathan
    on 2008-03-10 at 11:31

    Celebrities who involve themselves with a cause is fine by me. It’s just the ones who spend way too much time telling people about it who annoy me.

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