Business

Inside the Star-Studded ‘Hand In Hand’ Hurricane Relief Telethon

Hand In Hand
Written by Tanya Jones

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jason Alexander, Steve Buscemi, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks and Much More Engaged in Tuesday’s hurricane relief benefit organized by Scooter Braun and Houston rapper Bun B.

Dozens of actors gathered Tuesday night for “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief,” which broadcast live across 15 networks and 150 radio stations nationally while flowing on social networking. Django Unchained co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx opened the hourlong special, together with fellow introducing pairs Oprah Winfrey and Cher, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Robert De Niro and Jon Stewart, and Sofia Vergara and Tyler Perry helping to raise over $14 million before the program ended for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the back-to-back Category 4 storms that ravaged Texas and Florida over the past two months.

Viewers who donated by calling 1-800-258-6000 were thanked by celebrities such as George Clooney, Andy Cohen, Daniel Craig, Jared Leto, Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis.

Seinfeld star Jason Alexander has close family dwelling near each healing zone: a 97-year-old mother in Coral Springs, Fla., who “took it in stride,” and a brother in Houston who is still able to receive his dialysis treatments. “He’s okay for now,” Alexander told The Hollywood Reporter. “Those patients become priority sufferers, so he can take action, but it’s ugly.”

The celebrity had hope, he added, due to New Yorkers’ “generous” spirit: “If New Yorkers weren’t generous people of spirit and center, New York could not serve. So it never surprises me when New York and New Yorkers come out and reveal that side of themselves.”

While CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell, a Texan who reported by Harvey, noted that “there’s not a very clear link with climate change” and those hurricanes, Steve Buscemi laughed while telling THR, “It only seems clear that we are living in a period that’s extremely harmful with climate change and also that if we don’t act, these types of storms, I believe, are just gonna keep happening and it’s not likely to get better.” He continued, “I do not mean to be political, but I just wish that this government would really pay attention to that and admit that not merely is there climate change, but that it’s partially man-made.”

As a former firefighter, the former Boardwalk Empire star wants those viewing the storm wreckage to remember that aid workers might be very much in need themselves. “We certainly discovered that using [Hurricane] Sandy” in 2012, Buscemi said. “The Rockaways were really hard hit and there is a big firefighting community that resides there. So a lot of these firefighters would spend the majority of their time helping other people when their own homes were flooded as well.”

One of Jon Stewart’s best legacies out of The Daily Show is successfully lobbying Congress to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to help those whose risked their own lives at Ground Zero 16 decades and one day ago. “When disaster strikes, generally, the overwhelming majority of individuals run the other way,” Stewart explained. “And then there’s this one group of individuals, very small, that operate towards it. And people are our first responders and it’s the sort of thing that’s quite easy to take for granted when it is not in the forefront of the information cycle, but it is important to recall they do so daily. Not only when there’s a hurricane. They are always out there, and they’re always working and they’re always–very like Batman.”

Stewart also told THR that he’s glad that children, 13 and 11, are old enough “where I do not need to say, for example, ‘Sometimes God yells and the rain causes damage to homes,”’ amid news of cataclysmic flooding, including, “My daughter–because of YouTube–is likely more up geopolitically and differently” than he is. “Every now and again I’ll only return, I will be like, ‘What do you do?’ And she’ll be on the pc: ‘I’m seeing a Vox explainer about North Korea. ”’

Magician David Copperfield said he’s still reeling from the footage of “households in the water, chest high, swimming about. …The power of water is incredible. It’s our friend and it can be an enemy, too.” Meanwhile, Bruce Willis sees “the trust side of the planet” in how Americans have arranged for sufferers. “Florida’s taken a brutal beating, and you just have to try to help, right?”

The telecast wove together live dispatches from New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Antonio; taped testimonials featuring the likes of Beyoncé and Selena Gomez; along with musical performances. Usher and Blake Shelton, who once judged The Voice together, sang “Stand by Me.” Later, Demi Lovato, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and a medley of others crooned to “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

Scooter Braun and Houston rapper Bun B arranged the series, which will benefit United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (handled by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund handled by Comic Relief Inc..

Reference : http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/inside-star-studded-hand-hand-hurricane-relief-telethon-1038070

Comments

comments

About the author

Tanya Jones

Senior reporter for JBH News Games & Tech section. Graduated from York College, City University of New York in 2012.