Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Everyone’s Donating Their Golden Globe Gowns to Help Haiti

Hey, have you seen our one billion photos of Golden Globe gowns? No? They’re here. I think we made it about 3 minutes into the broadcast before someone mentioned Haiti, and it was a pretty steady stream after that, and now everyone’s auctioning off their gowns to raise money for the earthquake victims.

Everyone from Meryl Streep to Drew Barrymore to Jason Reitman touched on the tragedy during their acceptance speeches.

Streep and many of her fellow Hollywooders, in fact, are using the event as a way to raise money for Haitian relief efforts, as “House” star Olivia Wilde told MTV News on the Globes red carpet.

“We’re not only here for ‘House’ and doing this for ourselves, but we are here for Haiti,” she said.

Wilde and her colleagues — including Streep, Josh Brolin, Gerard Butler, Amy Poehler and Jenna Fischer — are auctioning off their Globe outfits for an organization called Artists for Peace and Justice, with all proceeds going to help the people of Haiti. One hundred percent of the proceeds with go directly toward the relief effort.

“It’s a really cool thing and hopefully we can turn all this fashion coverage into something positive,” said Wilde, who wore a Gucci gown.

The 25-year-old actress traveled to Haiti in December to help build a school, which, according to Us Weekly, was destroyed in the earthquake. As Wilde and the rest of Hollywood gear up to drive donations toward the embattled island nation — including MTV Networks’ George Clooney-led telethon set to air on multiple networks and cable channels on Friday (January 22) — the “House” doc also emphasized that young people can pitch in to help, staging everything from bake sales to barbecues to raise much-needed funds.

Look, my heart breaks for the people of Haiti. I can’t stand watching the footage on TV, and I find the exploitative human-interest coverage on “news” sites like CNN repulsive. But my heart broke for the people of Haiti before this earthquake. It’s the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Those people have been suffering and starving for decades, but you weren’t texting in your $10 when they still had a port we could use to get food to them. I find it hard to believe that 100% of any money can go to helping these victims when we can’t get planes in, we can’t get boats in, we can’t get troops in and we can’t get doctors in, because the entire transportation infrastructure — what little existed in the first place — is destroyed. (The Economist has a great piece exploring this issue further.) It’s not that I don’t think we should help, it’s just that we’ve adopted this entirely false sense of national pride because we think that by donating $10 via text message we’re somehow getting food and medical supplies to these people. We are not. We can stockpile all the rice in the world at the Beverly Hilton — we still have to land a plane on a non-existent runway in Port-au-Prince and do battle with the starving crowds that greet it in order to actually get that food to those who are helpless. That’s the hard part. The ramifications of this tragedy are a lot more complex than we’d like to think, and it’s a matter for the military and the U.N. to figure out. Your angry rebuttals go in the comments.

58 CommentsLeave a comment

    • Yeah, I agree too. Not that we shouldn’t give gobs of money to people who need it, but I know in a couple months a report will come out saying “this percentage of money was wasted” (whether avoidable or not) and then everyone’s going to be all dismayed and surprised.

      Realize that if you’re giving to a cause a percentage of what you give will most likely be wasted or absorbed into administration costs. The $10 will not necessarily equal $10 worth of diapers or canned food.

      On another note, I greatly appreciate when important issues are discussed on this blog. It’s very easy to push out all the real things that are going on in this world and ignore the true issues because, hey, no one wants to see all the pain and suffering that exists in this world.

  • I’m sick of how preachy this blog has gotten. A lot of us cared about Haiti before the earthquake, so quit being so high and mighty. Before the earthquake I was actually donating my money to people in Africa. There is a whole continent that needs help. Lots of places need help. We can’t help everyone all the time. But Haiti needs our money now, and I’m thankfully people are donating. Get over yourself. Seriously.

    • Well, less aggressively, but I agree. So what do you propose? Doing nothing? Even if that money won’t *magically* save lives, it’s definitively helping. Someone needs to feed these people, but not only Haitians, but the people who have been deployed to go work there. And rebuilding that necessary infrastructure costs money – money being donated. What exactly is your point? No one said this was going to be easy, or just take texting to save the day, but it’s a heck of a lot better than not doing anything. Plus, all that “exploitive” coverage serves a purpose – raising awareness, reminding people that Haiti needs a lot of help, and hopefully inspire others to donate. Last thing – Haiti was in a bad spot before like you said, but its a hell of lot worse now.

      • I agree completely. The most important of your comment is that no one said it was going to be easy. Should celebrities and the thousands of other people donating money, stop? I think they and we who are donating are doing our part. The incredible thing to do would be to fly to Haiti, help build the runway, and stop those that aren’t allowing the food and aid to reach the victims. Whether you meant to or not, the post comes off like your condemning those who are donating and making them sound naive by implying they think that donating ten dollars will easily help restore Haiti. I’d like to think that most people know it’s a complex situation that needs the help of the UN and international military. Give a little more credit to the readers of this site.

        Everyone I’ve heard speak on this issue, has spoken about the terrible condition Haiti was in before the earthquake and how much time, help, and effort will be needed to try and restore this nation to a decent level.

    • “A lot of us cared about Haiti before the earthquake, so quit being so high and mighty. Before the earthquake I was actually donating my money to people in Africa. There is a whole continent that needs help.” OK, so you know Haiti isn’t in Africa?
      I have to say, I really appreciated this article. The complex of celebrity-driven humanitarianism that pervades our culture is upsetting. And this article hits on a good point. Often times, people, so caught up in the human tragedy of a disaster like the earthquake in Haiti, donate money on gut-reaction, and fail to appreciate the implementations of their actions. Many times, money given through these commercial charities merely reinforces the circumstances that necessitated its need, creating not infrastructure for a self-sufficient population, but the groundwork for an industry of charity.
      Furthermore, the situation in Haiti is far more complicated than rich people giving money to poor people ravaged by a natural disaster. As the Economist article states, the difficulty in providing relive is only compounded by the lack of government structure. The US, too, is placed in an odd position, given its history of imperialism in Haiti. It is shameful, the way the US has treated Haiti for centuries, and Haiti’s current widespread poverty, social, and political unrest is largely a result of these policies.
      To that extent, it is charity is wonderful, and everyone- everyone person who has an ounce of humanity- should feel moved by what has happened in Haiti. However, it is a complex situation, and should be approached as such.

      • if you continue reading, EGB goes on to state that there are other places in the world, llike Africa, who need our money as well. It just so happens that Haiti needs it more right now because of a disaster. Maybe EGB should’ve worded it differently, but that was the main idea, I believe. I’m sure EGB realizes that Haiti isn’t in Africa, smartass.

      • The commenter you quoted at the beginning of your comment. Or did you not know that you were quoting a commenter and not Beet?

  • I agree with EGB. I read this blog as a mindless escape from actual news — not for your uninformed and preachy opinions on global situations and disaster response. If you had expertise in either of these issues, then you wouldn’t be running a celebrity gossip website.

    • oh shut it. UGH

      Can’t you appreciate different perspectives?

      And if you wanted mindless BS, perhaps you need to head on over to Perezhilton.

      Take a cue from your commenter name.

  • That’s a good point you’re raising there. Personally, I don’t believe in donating money to charities that help outside of your own country, as I think little of it is actually reaching the people who need it.

    However, I am donating money to the German Red Cross who are currently bringing hospitals and water to Haiti, so I guess in the end I have still done my part.

    And yes, there is not much point to my post.

    • Even LITTLE will reach them if you dont donate ANYTHING! So you just shot yourself in the foot there!

      • Well it may reach them, but as you stated at least it did not come out of my pocket. So what’s the problem? I don’t have a problem with other people donating to foreign countries, I just wouldn’t do it myself.

      • Well, if you have a job and pay taxes, you have been giving them money whether you like it or not. The US has given them billions over the past few years. It’s hard to see where the money went.

    • I agreeeeeeeee. Evil Beet’s writing is the best and the whole reason I started reading her blog! Loved this post. Quoted it. You are my inspiration Beet. p.s. if you could post more it would be wonderful, but I know you do a lot of other stuff. So, don’t stress about not posting. But just had to let you know.

  • I was going to say ‘omg that was brilliantly written’ with quite surprise (expecting it to have been Molls or someone) but i went back up and saw that Beet wrote it which didn’t surprise me! You are the best writer on this website! And that post was very well written and very journalistic! :)

    And i agree!x

  • I have more respect for ordinary people who are donating ten dollars, than actresses auctioning off gowns given to them by designers.

    I think that people donating $10 via text, have their hearts in the right place. Especially since most of us do not possess the skills to build a runway

    You mentioned that your “heart broke for the people of Haiti before this earthquake”. Did I miss a post where you urged your readers to donate money for the people of Haiti before the earthquake?

    • 10,000 times this.

      I think any little bit can help. Anywhere. I wouldn’t go around generalizing either about what people who read this blog care or don’t care about. That is certainly an area where you possess no expertise. And you know what happens when people assume stuff…

    • this.

      Also, I have more respect for the people who donate $10 as opposed to those who bitch and moan about those donations.

      Absolutely ridiculous.

      • And as opposed to those who see a tragedy as an opportunity to inform everyone that they were considering the desperation of the situation WAY before you even thought of it, because they are oh-so-socially-aware. Congratulations. Can you feed the people of Haiti with your sense of superiority and distaste for those who are just not quite as good as you? Until you can, I think the $10 text is more effective in enacting change than your post.

    • “Did I miss a post where you urged your readers to donate money for the people of Haiti before the earthquake?”

      I have the same question.

  • I agree with the majority of this article and yeah, it was well written with a link to a non-gossip site which I appreciated. I don’t think Beet was condemning those who are giving their money; I think what she’s saying is, if anyone thinks that by just texting or donating used dresses, this disaster will be solved in the next weeks or even months, it won’t. I agree with whomever said that the people who were giving their ten dollars had their hearts in the right place; I certainly believe most, if not all, of them do and are doing their best. In this economy, ten dollars is a lot more than it was two years ago, especially for those of us who are living paycheck to paycheck. I’m also sick of celebrities being high and mighty and telling us what we should be doing with our money…George Clooney’s doing a telethon? Really? So he and other multi-millionaires can guilt the average person scraping by to donate money they might need to pay rent? How about he take a few more of his millions and get all his celeb pals to do the same and let’s see how that works out? This isn’t something that should be used for publicity and with all the celebs who’ve never spoken a word about Haiti before, coming out of the woodwork, that’s what it seems like to me. It deserves more thought, more consideration than a telethon, than a text, than a dress can even begin to do. Beet isn’t trying to get people not to donate; I think she’s just trying to get people to think beyond the text and give such a far reaching, horrific disaster the thought it requires.

    • This.

      I was in NOLA for Katrina and what Beet is saying is true: If the supplies can’t get to the people, then they aren’t doing good. And the way celebs jump on these situations to further their own public images is nauseating. Sean Penn actually was in a boat trying to help, Bono and Green Day wrote a shitty song and yet who do people think did more good?

      Brad and Angelina gave cold hard cash to Haiti. That’s so much more useful than auctioning off a bunch of dresses when a large chunk of the money will go to the auction service (regardless of what they say about 100% of proceeds, blah, blah, blah, the auction service needs to get paid).

    • yes, but I think celebrities like George Clooney are partly taking advantage of their celebrity for the good, harnessing the media-pull they have in order to even out the lack of social contribution of a job in the entertainment industry.

  • Send over some law and order, sincere gov’t workers, teachers, and people who know how to build there..

  • I, too, missed your previous posts about Haiti. I’ve never seen it mentioned here. Anyway, this place has become way too political and preachy. I am done here.

  • Like I’ve said before, and possibly on here, we cycle through charities in this country and put out spurts of large amounts of money. But we don’t stick with anything long enough to do any good. In the mid 80’s it was Africa (We Are The World), then the focus went to South America. More recently, we had the tsunami in Burma, then we were concerned about India (after the “Slumdog Millionaire” movie), now it’s Haiti. In another six months, people will probably not even remember Haiti’s problems because we’ll be on to something else. Hell, do we even hear much about the continuing problems of the New Orleans area in our own country? Nope, we’ve moved on. We’re constantly throwing cash at things and hoping they will fix themselves (or that someone else will do the actual fixing). All of these things need long term commitment and some concern and help other than just cash and supplies to make a real difference.

  • *claps* Fucking THANK YOU!

    I feel the same way. Why do we only care, as an entire country/world, about a poor nation AFTER it’s been totally devastated?

  • So true. Are we going to mention BabyDoc’s track record with money and helping out HIS PEOPLE? I don’t understand how we are going to be able to combat the corruption in this place which after such a disaster seems to become an absolute hell. These people have suffered for years under a government which has abandoned them.

  • Your information is not correct. There are at least 6 C-130s landing in Haiti every hour. Turning a blind eye is reprehensible. How do you people sleep at night?

    • Yeah, landing to drop off military personal and bring US and foreign nationals out of Haiti, not bringing desperately needed food to actual Haitians.

      • Some yes…but don’t post acting like you know what is going at that airfield unless you know first hand. My husabnd is one of the ones running the airfield and right now there are abotu 100 planes a day….unheard of for a field that size. It’s amazing what they are doing… And yes…aid is coming in on those planes…and yes some are going back with people on them…do you prefer them to send them back empty? Every plane that comes in is filled max capacity with help…so you might want to check your facts and your sources.

  • Thank you for saying this! I mentioned in a conversation last week with friends that maybe instead of throwing money at a country that’s destroyed, we help it out before the disasters – same thing with American Samoa. It seems people only help when there is a disaster instead of being proactive and helping out to make these events less catastrophic. I also appreciate your mention of The Economist – I’m an avid reader of this blog and that magazine and it’s great to know that behind the celebrity gossip and bitchy comments are truly educated individuals. Keep it up!

  • Just because you run a celebrity gossip blog and aren’t an expert on foreign affairs doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to weigh in on world events, especially those that are shocking and devastating. That’s ridiculous. This is America. Say whatever the hell you want. I appreciate the insight on Haiti as well. However, I’m not sure where your anger is coming from. People are doing what they think they should do, and, yes, it’s sad that Haiti didn’t get the attention before the earthquake, but hopefully people will pay more attention now and the appropriate agencies can help rebuild that nation with all of that money that’s being donated. I wish I could fly to Haiti and help myself. But I can’t. So I’m giving money to reputable organizations, understanding that some of it may be wasted, but hoping that most of it will go to where it is most needed. Maybe I’m just naive.

  • Do your research before donating. You can find out from the charity just how much of your donation goes towards administration costs and how much goes toward helping. Your Better Business office can help too. If you don’t like the %, keep looking until you find the charity that you like. We donate year round but when a major earthquake, tornado, hurricane, etc. strikes, more money, lots more money is needed NOW. I like to donate to charities that help in the USA because I think we should help our people first, then help the world. That’s just my opinion.

    • Laura, you are SO right. Folks, please run a charity name through a site like Charity Navigator to see how well they actually get aid to where it needs to go and how much is spent on administration costs, mailings etc. I’ve very suspicious when I get frequent mailings from an org, lets me know too much money is being spent on mailings (yet getting the word out is important but…) and not enough on helping their demographic. We have learned little about response to disaster from Katrina and even less about the US’s terrible history in Haiti creating such abject poverty.

      As someone who has traveled to Haiti multiple times for service, human rights work and research, I strongly encourage you to give to HAITIAN (vs. US based or international) organizations who have a strong track record in Haiti, understand the culture and history, and will continue to be in Haiti long after the American public moves on to the next disaster or reality tv upset. I suggest Partners in Health. They are an incredibly lean organization making a real difference in Haitian lives.

    • I couldn’t agree more, Laura. There are so many people here in this country who need help and yet we vilify them for being lazy or stupid or punishing them because of where they live. If we, as a country, ever united this way for our own people, just think of what could be accomplished.

      None of that is to say that Haiti doesn’t deserve help and aid, it’s just a general comment on US response to tragedy in general. Someone earlier snarked about where New Orleans was built, well, Haiti is on a fault line so by that logic we shouldn’t help Haiti because they were stupid enough to build where they built? That’s illogical and counterproductive.

  • If you pay American taxes you have already contributed to the relief effort. Obama has pledged $100 million to aid Haiti– that money came from you and me.

    I must be one cold heartless bitch, because I think we should leave Haiti to their own devices. They were a violent and murdering people before the quake and not much has changed.

    • Actually, (and I agree with your reply), we borrowed the money from China, because we’re trillions of dollars in debt. The U.S. donated $100,000,000, to be exact. How much did China give? $1 million. How much did Saudi Arabia give? $0–big ole goose egg. They sent a letter of condolence. And we have given with our tax dollars. Lots. Where the heck does everyone think the U.S.’s money comes from??? While I think it takes a whole lot more than money to render assistance to the Haitians, money sure as hell is a good start. And Beet needs to realize that there are THOUSANDS of people, several of my friends included, who are getting doctors and nurses together to fly to Haiti and help. What’s EB doing? Is she booking her flight to Haiti right now? There are 15,000 US troops assisting in Haiti right now. Is that not doing something more than texting a $10 donation? And guess who’s paying for that military assistance? You and me. Taxpaying Americans. Beet needs to hop off her high horse and realize that maybe all some people CAN do is donate $10. That doesn’t make them stupid or superior. That means that they gave out of their own pockets to people who don’t have a thing. I don’t really see where that’s a problem. Ugh, I don’t need a gossip writer telling me that my donation wasn’t helpful. Are my prayers not helping, either? I’m sorry I don’t make enough money to give thousands in cold hard cash to Haiti, and that I can’t afford to take time off to go build a freaking runway. My tax dollars are funding the troops that are there doing that right now. I gave what I could. That doesn’t make me ignorant to Haiti’s plight, it makes me feel a little better to know that I gave what I could to help people in dire need.

    • I guess you are a cold hearted bitch. Way to generalize! “They were a violent and murdering people before the quake and not much has changed”. Congratulations on sounding like a member of the KKK trying to rationalize your hatred of an entire group of people you know nothing about. Have you ever been to Haiti? Met every single person there? I’m sure the thousands of children that died in the quake were all murders and violent offenders! I hope, for your sake, that if your city/country gets ravaged and completely destroyed by a natural disaster, the rest of the world won’t “leave you to your own device” like you are so willing to do.

  • This post is completely off base. I understand your frustration, but now is the absolute wrong time to get self-important and preachy. Is it doing Haiti ANY amount of good bitch and moan about not having sent aid earlier? No. And until you can show that you have, in fact, been sending Haiti money for years, shut up.

    The fact of the matter is that Haiti needs aid NOW. It was poor before, but now it is destroyed. People are dying by the tens of thousands. Don’t try to pretend that the situation was anywhere near this bad before the earthquake.

    And about celebrities supporting charities–why on earth shouldn’t they? They have a crapload of money, and I don’t see any reason why they should be looked down on for donating it to a worthy cause. On top of that, they have quite a lot of influence with quite a lot of people. They can raise awareness in a way the rest of us can only dream of.

  • No one truly knows where their money is going when they’re donating to an organization. This is one of the reasons I’m skeptical about doing this. Part of me feels only a portion of that money will actually get there. I truly hope the people of Haiti are getting the resources they need.

  • Seriously Beet – up on the wrong side of the bed today?

    I agree CNN’s coverage is at time over the top … but they have done some good. People have connected with their loved ones by seeing them on the TV… On Friday night around midnight a field “hospital” (a tent with a few dozen patients laying on the ground) evacuated the doctors for fear of a riot – the only one who stayed was CNN reporter and doctor Sanjay Gupta.

    Also the coverage encourages people to donate.

    And as for the donations and where that money is going – yes we don’t know what percentage actually gets to these people. But what do you suggest – we do / give nothing because we don’t know how much is getting to them? Not all of us can be on the ground helping hands on. If $5 of my $10 text gets to someone that needs it, I’ll be happy with that. The sleazebags that skim profit off these donations can live with that on their conscience.

    And as for thinking about Haiti before the quake – there were hundreds, possibly thousands of americans and other nationals there working with DWB, orphanages, and other organizations

    Lastly – you are wrong about the supplies not getting to the people. Planes are landing, food and doctors are getting to the people – not as quickly as one would like – but they are getting there – don’t spread false rumors that would persuade someone to not give b/c they think what you say is true

  • Though I feel horrible about what happened over there, our own country is pretty fucked up, and maybe we should work on fixing that instead of playing red cross to the world.

    • Okay Emily, I’m officially kissing your ass for saying this. I’m sick of running off to help others. Time to focus on those in need at home.

  • Well I understand this is gossip blog…so I’m not suprised that the facts of your post are mostly incorrect. First…don’t ever give to a charity that you don’t know where every dime goes to. Non profits post and publish that info. And the texting $10 is going to The American Red Cross which I think has proved to be a pretty upstanding organization.
    Second, the airfield in Haiti is up and running…in fact running 4 times more that they used to ever handle. About 100 planes are coming in every day…which is crazy considering the size of the field itself. Aid is coming in on those planes and lots of it is from donations. The port is damaged, but there are still ships and carriers parked there to take in aid and receive patients for medical care. So yes…a run way exists, doctors and medical staff are coming in, food and water is coming in, and boats are coming in, oh and crap load of troops are there and on the ground. They have been there for a few days now…but I’m sure CNN wouldn’t show all the good stuff anyways….

  • Someone else may have mentioned this in another comment, but it’s worth noting that Olivia Wilde was involved with Artists for Peace and Justice before the earthquake and was actually in Haiti as a volunteer less than a month ago. She was on The Rachel Maddow Show talking about it Friday evening.

    I don’t take any national pride in all the help that has come from the United States. In fact, listening to TRMS again tonight (she’s done extensive coverage since the quake, and I feel like it’s been out of a desire to inform and not exploit – can’t comment on CNN) it sounds like the US response has not been as organized as it should have been, and the Israelis have been more the model of how to handle this type of thing. (I know that has more to do with the logistics planning and not how much money has been donated, so I may be a little off track.)

    But I do feel like we should do what we can to help others in need because doing something is better than doing nothing.

  • So, then what do you propose we do instead? Shrug our shoulders and spend that $10 on a sweater for a dog?