Cause Celeb

Can Star Power Create Social Change?

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Celebs: Luciano Pavarotti and Spike Lee

Cause: Child victims of the Liberian civil war

What they’ve done: Luciano starred in, and Spike directed, a benefit concert on June 9 in Modena, Italy, under the auspices of the British charity War Child. Other guests: Stevie Wonder and the Spice Girls.

What celebs get: Spike tells Gannett News Service that the concert gave him a chance to work with “my old pal Stevie [and] my new best friend, Luciano.” Luciano tells Knight-Ridder, “The idea of singing with the Spice Girls is intriguing. Their music is choral and seems especially made to draw me in.”

What cause gets: Money and attention

Connection between celeb and cause: Even figuring out the connection between the talents who were involved is difficult. But it’s hard to find anyone unsympathetic to war orphans.

Chance celeb will humiliate cause: Possible. Luciano seems above public reproach. But Spike is a tough talker: He blamed his 1998 documentary Oscar loss on being up against a movie with a Holocaust-related theme. What good did they do? It takes awhile for money to flow into overseas war zones, but War Child, formed in 1993 by former BBC filmmakers horrified by what they’d seen in Bosnia, has a decent track record of getting bread and insulin into war zones. Profits from past Pavarotti War Child benefits opened a music and arts center for kids in Mostar, Bosnia.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate