Celebrities Rally to Fight the Coronavirus

By Amit Jagwani  | 

It might feel tough to maintain cheer with coronavirus coverage dominating feeds, but even in this time of crisis, good news can be found. Around the world, people are throwing open windows to clap for healthcare workers on the front lines. Strangers are buying groceries for elderly neighbors, and landlords are waiving rent. Acts of kindness, both small and large, are likewise visible in Hollywood, where celebrities are doing their part by contributing to relief efforts and striving to bring smiles to faces. While some stars have received backlash for how they’ve handled the pandemic, many more have stepped up to the plate to help provide much needed relief. In fact, there are too many to name in one post. Here’s a look at a few of the ways organizations and A-listers are helping lift human spirits. 

Personal Touches
The Office alum John Krasinski launched a new web show appropriately titled Some Good News to present heartwarming headlines in a tongue-in-cheek news format. The first episode, which aired March 29, garnered nearly 2 million YouTube views in less than 24 hours, thanks in part to interviews with “entertainment correspondent” Steve Carrell and Courtney “Coco” Johnson, a 15-year-old California resident whose final chemo treatment was celebrated by a surprise social-distancing parade. Ryan Reynolds of Deadpool fame used his entrepreneurial power for good by giving free unlimited data to all Mint Mobile subscribers, the cell carrier he purchased last November. That announcement was made via silly voicemails left on users’ phones.

Focus on Film
In film news, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a $6 million donation to help industry members in financial need. Some funds will support behind-the-scenes workers and performers, along with grant programs aiding underserved communities that have been further devastated by the shuttering of productions, theaters and movie-related businesses. Meanwhile, to help keep us entertained while stuck inside—and perhaps remind us that there’s no place like home—Steven Spielberg debuted AFI Movie Club by selecting The Wizard of Oz as its first offering. Sponsored by the American Film Institute, this virtual group aims to “leverage our collective love of film on behalf of optimism in this time of global uncertainty.” Consumers can participate by signing up for daily updates at AFI.com/MovieClub, joining the conversation with #AFIMovieClub and watching selections via preexisting streaming services.

Big-Name Events
Leonardo DiCaprio and Oprah Winfrey were among the stars who not only raised awareness but also pledged personal donations to America’s Food Fund, a new GoFundMe organization now nourishing low-income families, coronavirus-threatened elderly and hungry children who rely on school lunch programs. Prior to Covid-19, roughly 37 million Americans were without access to regular meals—a number that is sadly on the rise. Other celebs hoping to heal through music joined forces for “One World: Together at Home,” a major television concert set to air April 18 on NBC, ABC and CBS, along with Disney, NBC and ViacomCBS stations around the world. Streaming platforms including Amazon, Facebook, Hulu and Instagram will likewise broadcast the performance. Curated by Lady Gaga and hosted by the fantastically funny Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert trio, this live entertainment blowout promises plenty of additional star-studded appearances. Think: Elton John, Alanis Morissette, Paul McCartney and Chris Martin, among others. Proceeds will benefit the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which equips charities and supports healthcare responders.

Stars are stepping up to provide coronavirus relief, using the power of film to reach viewers on every screen.

Amit Jagwani
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