May 27, 2010
By Alyssa Giacobbe
(May 25) — In January, when a magnitude-7.0 earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 Haitians and left more than a million others homeless, Hollywood shed a collective, well-choreographed tear, then banded together like a Christopher Guest cast to help put the country back together. The tabloids kept track of the most generous celebrities, noting that Brangelina and Sandra Bullock each donated $1 million, while others, like Sean Penn, decamped to Haiti to work directly on refugee efforts. In perhaps the most visible celebrity relief effort, George Clooney hosted a star-studded telethon that featured performances by Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and, obviously, Bono.
Yet as hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil continue to leak into and spread out across the Gulf of Mexico each day, Hollywood has seemed largely unmoved by the BP oil spill, which is creating its own long list of need: Eleven workers died in the accident that led to the leak, and scientists have so far tallied an animal fatality count of 23 birds, 156 sea turtles and 12 dolphins, numbers that are expected to rise (countless more will simply sink to the ocean floor, undiscovered). Thousands of fishermen are abruptly out of work, and it may take decades for the gulf ecosystem to recover. All in all, most experts say the damage here will eclipse that of 1989′s catastrophic Exxon Valdez spill, which dumped 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prince William Sound and cost the company nearly $4 billion.
So what gives? Where are the photos of Lady Gaga in waders? Does Clooney have something against tuna?