Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Celebrities and Charity

As I was browsing I'm not Obsessed I came across a story about Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their possible purchase of this huge 60 million dollar castle in France. Below the story were comments of course and as always, there were anonymous people coming out in droves to name call and bash.

One comment in particular really bothered me. The person (again, anon of course) called Jolie and Pitt hypocrites and stated they hoped they moved permanently from the USA to France because they are fake hypocrites who smile for the camera but fight behind closed doors. Well you know me...I had to respond. I told this person jealousy was very unbecoming and why can't people just be happy for each other.

This trickled to me being told to "shush up" and then informed Jolie and Pitt are hypocrites of the worst kind because they give money and preach to others to donate money and live frugally yet here they are, living in mansions.

Here is my thing. How much do you expect celebrities to give and sacrifice before you consider their sacrifices to be just that? This brings to mind a problem I had with Oprah. It drove me batty hearing her tell people to donate to this and that but to watch as she lived it up and sat on billions. However, I got over it when I realized this is her money. She earned it. And while it would be great if she donated more ultimately that is her decision.

In the case of Jolie though, I just don't see it as the same. She donates exactly 1/3 of her income to charity. That's more than other celebrities and on top of that she donates her time, flying around the world as a Good Will Ambassador.

What do you think?


Erin said...

I see your point...but it is hard for me, as a person struggling to get by, to hear them asking me to donate when they can afford things like 60 million $ mansions. Donating 1/3 of her income plus tons of her time is very noble as far as celebrities are concerned. It's still hard for me though to not say that she should donate more because she has more to donate that I do...we both work for our money but I don't have that extra to donate like she does...I mean she doesn't NEED a really expensive house, they could easily live in something very modest and cheap and helps thousands of people all over the world simply have a place to live at all. If that makes any sense?

Cheating Death said...

They are asking you to donate because that is what good people do. They bring to light a lot that we wouldn't see. They use celebrity status to shine the light on issues and use their popularity to encourage people who like them to like their causes. It isn't rocket science.

Erin- If you were rich, would you live in the same house you do now?

If you say yes, I will say that is one of two things: a) you will never be rich, and you know it b)you don't know anyone who is wealthy--wealth doesn't make someone a jerk. Jerks are jerks. Poor people can be really huge jerks. I work with them in the field all the time.

No one expects you to give away all your money, and no one makes you feel guilty for not doing so. If you don't understand that giving 1/3 of her income is HUGE then take a look at how democracy and capitalism work. If you don't like it there are plenty of places around the world that don't function this way....

The fact that she gives 1/3 of her income a year to charity is incredible. Seriously. It obvsiously isn't about the good press... cause people like you and ever person with an internet connection--aren't convinced.

I don't care who it is, 1/3 of your income is noble.

JAMIE said...

I agree with Cheating Death.
Donating 1/3 of her anual income is huge, let alone all the time she spends in specific regions bringing attention to the problem.
You also have to remember that her expenses our much higher then ours.
They have to have security at all times. There kids most likely have to go to private school with security. So many other things.
I read the article about their new house that they are leasing ~ not buying and it sounds like they like it for the privacy.
How much is ones privacy worth?
Either way, whoever is donating their money, no matter how much it is should be credited. Not ragged on!!
Good post Jamie :)