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Hollywood helps Haiti

Sandra Bullock donates $1 million; plans for telethon continue

The entertainment industry’s efforts to support Haitian earthquake relief have broadened, highlighted by Golden Globes drama actress winner Sandra Bullock donating $1 million in aid for the victims.

The roster of performers for Friday’s multi-network “Hope for Haiti” telethon also continues to grow, with Christina Aguilera, Bono, Alicia Keys, Sting and Justin Timberlake signing on to perform during the broadcast.

They join event co-hosts George Clooney (who is organizing the telethon with MTV Networks), Wyclef Jean and Anderson Cooper. Clooney is expected to be in Los Angeles for the broadcast, Jean in New York, Cooper in Haiti. Clooney has said he ultimately expects approximately 40 celebrities to participate in the telethon.

ABC, CBS, the CW, Fox, NBC, CNN, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT will broadcast the two-hour fundraiser at 8 p.m. Eastern (delayed on the West Coast). MTV Networks, CNN and National Geographic will show the telethon internationally.

All proceeds will be split evenly among five relief organizations currently operating in Haiti: Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation. On Monday, Jean defended his foundation against accusations that past donations had been mismanaged.

Facebook and MySpace have also signed on to help drive viewers and donations to the telethon.

In other developments:

In addition to Bullock’s donation, which matches contributions by Clooney and by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, model Gisele Bundchen, according to published reports has pledged $1.5 million to the cause. Madonna said she has donated $250,000.

Approximately 30 performers were to appear Monday on a two-hour special edition of CNN’s “Larry King Live” titled “Haiti: How You Can Help.” Mick Jagger, Sean Combs, Susan Sarandon, Russell Simmons, Ben Stiller, Ryan Seacrest and Alyssa Milano formed a small sampling of those expected to deliver calls to action.

Aided by Taylor Swift and alum Ashley Judd, the U. of Kentucky raised $1 million in a 4 1/2-hour “Hoops for Haiti” telethon on CBS affiliate WKYT-TV in Lexington, Ky. Major League Baseball also pledged $1 million as a starter donation, with other clubs such as the New York Yankees ($500,000) adding on. Rogers Communications, owners of the Toronto Blue Jays, donated $250,000 in funds and goods.

House” co-star Olivia Wilde told reporters at Sunday’s Golden Globes ceremony that she and others (including Meryl Streep, Josh Brolin, Gerald Butler, Jenna Fischer and Amy Poehler) are auctioning off their gala outfits, with 100 % of the proceeds designated for Haiti earthquake relief via Artists for Peace and Justice. Wilde was in Haiti in December to help build a school that was subsequently destroyed in the earthquake.

Jimmy Jean-Louis (“Heroes”), who founded Hollywood Unites for Haiti in 2008, has been leading a public awareness/fundraising campaign on behalf of the Pan American Development Foundation. Louis, who was born in Haiti but has lived in Los Angeles since 1998, traveled to his native country and found that his parents had survived, but the family home had been lost.

U2 has written a song for a separate Haiti relief function that rappers Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz are organizing,

Gabriel Byrne, Terry George, and others have organized a “Rebuild Haiti” fundraiser in New York for Thursday night to benefit Concern Worldwide and the Edeyo Foundation.

Jean addressed the controversy over his Yele Haiti Foundation on Monday.

At a New York press conference, a tearful Jean told reporters that “as a young NGO (non-governmental organization) coming up, have we made mistakes before? Yes. Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefits? Absolutely not.”

According to the Washington Post, Yele has raised more than one $1.5 million since the earthquake hit on Tuesday. But concerns, as first reported on The Smoking Gun website, over how the charity organization allocated funds in the past became so acute that the Grammy-winning performer felt the need to defend himself.

Smoking Gun posted that Internal Revenue Service records reveal questionable accounting practices by the group, which was incorporated 12 years ago, and that Yele Haiti first filed tax returns in 2009. That documentation purportedly covered the calendar years 2005 through 2007.

Yele Haiti’s president, High Locke, told the Washington Post that the charity hopes to reduce its administrative spending.

Finally, speaking after the Golden Globes on Sunday, “Avatar” director James Cameron expressed frustration with the roadblocks to delivering aid to tragedy-stricken locales.

“I would pose the question: Why can we put a Special Ops force on the ground with such great effectiveness to go after military objectives, and (it) somehow eludes us to have a single ready-to-go force that can get in and set up a temporary structure to help out in this type of situation?” Cameron said. “That needs to be developed. Not just on a national level, on an international level. We need that. We don’t have it, and we need it. It’s stupid not to have it.”

Steve Chagollan contributed to this report

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