In a story that speaks to the perils of celebrity activism in faraway places, Madonna is overhauling a foundation she helped set up to build a school for impoverished girls in Malawi. Some $3.8 million was spent by the charitable foundation, but the school never got built. She apparently was unaware that money was being spent by the foundation’s on lavish expenses, including a golf course membership.
The New York Times reports: “On Thursday, in conceding the shortcomings of her charity, Madonna issued a statement saying she was still intent on using the organization, which has raised $18 million so far, to advance improvements in the beleaguered nation.
“‘There’s a real education crisis in Malawi,’ she said. ‘Sixty-seven percent of girls don’t go to secondary school, and this is simply unacceptable. Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can.’ She and her aides offered no explanation of why, given her high interest in the project, she had not noticed the problems as they began unfolding.” (New York Times)
Stone’s Project: Oliver Stone is developing an hourlong series for FX about a secret organization that manufactures fake news stories — and it is aid to be based on a real-life practitioner. (Variety).
Clintons Mourn Taylor: Hillary and Bill Clinton issued a statement on Thursday paying tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. “In founding amfAR, she raised both millions of dollars and our level of awareness about the impact of AIDS in the United States and around the world. Elizabeth’s legacy will live on in many people around the world whose lives will be longer and better because of her work and the ongoing efforts of those she inspired. Our thoughts are with her family, her friends and her many fans. We will miss her talent, her heart and her friendship.” (Greg in Hollywood)
More on “The Kennedys”: Here’s my weekly column on why the controversy surrounding “The Kennedys” and why, after viewing all eight episodes, it’s actually reverential, almost strangely so.
The Making of “All the President’s Men”: Vanity Fair has posted a link to its story on Robert Redford’s drive to bring Watergate to the screen, collaborating with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as the scandal was still unfolding and as much of the media establishment doubted the veracity of their stories. The story is from Michael Feeney Callan’s upcoming biography of Redford, who cooperated.