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Do Celebrity Causes Inspire You to Do Good?

This Friday, the Leonardo DiCaprio-narrated and -produced green documentary The 11th Hour opens in theaters. I'd bet the filmmakers, sisters Nadia Conners and Leila Connors Petersen, were pretty stoked to get a big name to endorse their film and their cause since this seems to be a good way to raise awareness.

Angelina Jolie is, of course, a huge proponent of using her celebrity for good, as is Brad Pitt, most recently with his sustainable New Orleans houses. Pitt also has some impassioned Hollywood colleagues as George Clooney and Don Cheadle continue to help the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

But does this sort of thing work to get more people involved? Do you find yourself inspired to do good deeds based on the causes that celebrities get behind?


PinkNC PinkNC 10 years
No. When celeberties say that they ALL FOR a worthy cause these days, then they only want YOU to work hard at it. While they get credit as the spokes person that did nothing but a commercial in a studio. We should all go for what we know and feel. If we feel something is for a worthy cause then we should go for it. With Internet today we can find out who needs help here and there. Most of the time we already know anyway. And I don't mean about the petty causes that people waste time with every other day.
mrspiven mrspiven 10 years
it puts me off that celebrities are often paid to be part of their causes, so it doesn't inspire me to put time and effort into something that will waste money on a celebrity endorser.
cordelia179 cordelia179 10 years
I said no... but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the attention celebs are bringing to environmental issues. It just really seriously concerns me that what they present to the public, though well intentioned, gets too easily twisted into narcissistic fanatacism. I frequently work in the environmental sector, and I'd rather get my information either through my own first hand experience on the land and with researchers and in communities, or through peer reviewed journals, or from environmental philosophers and ethicists that are working out on the land with scientists and out in communities. From my perspective, the most innovative environmental thinkers I know of, the ones who are coming up with genius ways to help heal the human-earth rift, they are being totally ignored by this current wave of popular environmentalism. They are just not glamorous enough, I guess. The best of these parties are concerned less with preaching and more with getting the information right and actually making progress with these incredibly complicated -- both scientifically and culturally -- issues. There is so much cursory information out there, both in celeb film projects and in mainstream media, and a lot of the celebritization of environmental issues is more polarizing and distorting than it needs to be. That's really seriously counterproductive. That is what is annoying. What especially sucks is that progress WAS being made towards bridging the gaps between different interest groups. For example, now it is harder to me to talk to farmers about water and soil conservation issues because I get labelled as a fear-mongering, anti-human, Al-Gore-fangirl. Before we were just two people who loved a place and were concerned about helping people be better land stewards. Thanks a lot celebs. The good thing about it is that it is making concern about the environment more mainstream. Thank goodness. It is high time for that. So, I see this current popularity of environmentalism as important more on an emotional level (ie. we are all agreeing that we care about the environment, I hope). But let's not be human-haters, and lets not be blindly anti-corporations (they are funding so much good research and many businesses really want to make a difference). Let's ask, how can I love the earth more, how can I love my human community more so that it can be more earth-loving, and how can I be a better survivor so that I can help my community survive and thrive in this changing environment. Because it is going to change. The environment is always changing, human influenced or not. And we need to square with that fact really quick. Sorry to be so long winded. You did ask! That's my two cents.
lostinchaos lostinchaos 10 years
I'm just glad to see celebrities using their resources to do something positive for the world and mean it. I care about the world and what happens to it and the people in it but I am guilty of feeling like I am too small and can't do much due to my limited resources and lack of time. Celebrities have the funds and time to do whatever they want so it is nice to see them be passionate about something that matters.
paigef paigef 10 years
This was probably already mentioned- but when celebs stop chartering (or purchasing) private jets for their own personal use and start flying like the rest of us MAYBE just MAYBE I would think they were trying to practice what they preach. Am I really supposed to rethink and change my meager (in comparision) habits when they are consuming on such a HUGE scale in comparison to the rest of the population? How big is their 'footprint' when you consider their multiple residences (and keeping them heated,cooled,lit,alarmed,rigged with the latest of everything) collections of cars,planes and travel schedules, clothing,jewels,children and lord knows what else. I guess when you comsume more, these small modifications might add up, and the easier it is to get on a bandwagon and tell the world to do the same. But in reality, they are still consuming way more than most of us.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
There *is* a difference when we watch Celebrities on TMZ, or ET, or E! and when they are on commercials saying "buy this" because we arent looking at them as role models, i mean we all KNOW that SJP doesnt use that hair color from a box! But when they are out there telling us to watch our carbon footprints, and use less energy and gas and blah blah blah....Listen, The Earth is 4.57 billion years old. Think about that for a moment. Four billion, 570 million years old. People like DiCraprio and Al Bore are out there rallying to "save the planet" Leave aside Man's grand illusion: that he, or we, matter. That we have it in us to "save the Planet". 1) Let's address that first: simply put, you---or I, or even Al Gore---can't save the Earth. In the end it all gets very cold as the Universe expires from Heat Death, or the Earth is obliterated, scalded when our Sun, in about another 5 billion years, turns into a Red Dwarf. By that time, due to natural increases in CO2, the atmosphere and oceans will be long gone. So no, you can't save the planet. In the end, as Jim Morrison once wrote, "No one here gets out alive"---& that includes Big Blue. Sorry.
lala788 lala788 10 years
not at all!
floweroflove floweroflove 10 years
only a few. like oprah an leonardo. the rest seems all a sham, fake. most of them just do it 2 create a popular image towards the public.
zoomusicgirl zoomusicgirl 10 years
i would say watching/reading the news affects me more than celebrities do...but it is nice to see that they are trying to do some good.
demeter demeter 10 years
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i don't know how to ride a bike and don't own an suv either. i am in new zealand this year which is really isolated and used a lot of emissions to get me here from Vancouver - thats right, i took a plane and didn't boat it across the pacific (if that would even be "greener"). maybe brad and other people should be closet eco-friendly (i personally don't know what the deal is with brad pitt so i can't say what he does/doesn't do) and only exhibit things in public that people want to see like what he is wearing and how many of his and angelina jolie's kids he can carry at once?! how could celebrities toting a green cause be negative? Oprah for instance has a huge influence - note the not eating hamburgers thing. of course everyone should decide what is best for themselves - its called critical thinking: not taking everything at face value, so whether or not they are your main influence in eco-friendly things doesn't matter- i mean, maybe we should be picking on celebs who don't care rather than ones who do?!
Malarie Malarie 10 years
ugh! I hate it when people use their name and status to "bring awareness" to anything. If they're really that concerned about anything they've got the money - donate it.
georgie2 georgie2 10 years
They don't influence me because I'm already involved and concerned about these issues.
lhomey lhomey 10 years
tdamji -- Brad Pitt talking green is hypocritical. Has he given up taking jets around the world? Does he own a hybrid vehicle? Ever seen him ride a bike around town? As far as I know, he uses jets and SUVs on a regular basis. How the hell is THAT green?
lhomey lhomey 10 years
I don't need a celebrity to tell me if I should or shouldn't care about something. If nothing else, they usually come off as hypocrites or publicity hounds -- not role models.
sumnboutme sumnboutme 10 years
i'm already involved in a few organizations. It's nice to know that celebrities care but I don't need their endorsement to be aware of issues that affect other people's lives. We live in a big world and sometimes we forget that there are people out there who are suffering. Celebrities help in bringing these issues to the forefront because they always attract media buzz. If I went around and told people about a certain issue that I believed in, I think a lot less people will pay attention than if Oprah or Brad Pitt did the same. Whatever helps in getting people involved is always a good thing.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
oh, i'm not saying people shouldn't listen to journalists of course.
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
oh man. every-time someone asks this about celebs and greening i get so mad - everyone always says that they are hypocrites and they'd rather listen to journalists. gawd. why? why is a celebrity's opinion less valid than yours or mine? its okay to pay attention when celebs smash their cars and end up in accidents, go to rehab etc etc but if they are trying to do something good its not okay? its not valid? bill and melinda gates donate a ton (millions!) of dollars to charity including environmental causes yet of course microsoft makes a ton of products hops on planes etc. oh, i don't know where i was going with that. is it not hypocritical to say that anyone can make a difference, every small bit counts, yet this doesn't apply to someone that happens to be famous? why do people buy things that celebrities endorse and this is okay yet when someone is endorsing something worthwhile it is totally dismissed because they are not 100% green (whatever that means! is it possible - maybe if you're that no-impact guy but then everyone said he is nuts and would never consider doing that). anyway, i agree with what annaerkul said.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 10 years
There are no celebrities doing the good I do and support.
cleegiants cleegiants 10 years
when i hear of celebs doing good, i think "they could do so much more". however, i am just reminded that i need to do my own part for causes that mean something to me - not just because there's a celeb endorsement.
jessyg jessyg 10 years
Celebrities carry a double standard. They brag on and on about how they are "going green" and taking care of the environment and then they are driven to the air port an hop on their jumbo jet plane and fly to other countries. I bet that doesn't pollute our air or use up any fuel. yep sounds like they really take that stuff seriously...........
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
celebrities are notoriously hypocritical, just like politicians...i can steerhead my own "cause" just fine.
thehabra thehabra 10 years
mfern64: What the hell? Why is it "annoying" for them to care about issues like that, and to try to use their fame to do a little bit of good?Already 19 people have voted that they are inspired by their efforts.Remember that alot of people wouldn't know about some organizations if it hadn't been for famous people endorsing it.You probably don't care that Celebrities do comericals for L'oreal and Estee Lauder, and you're probably glued to the page when whichever celebrities you like is dishing about their personal life, so why can't they talk about causes that needs to be noticed by the public and the media??
mfern64 mfern64 10 years
I think celebs and their causes are annoying. I'm much more interested in causes I hear about through my own community, schools, and local organizations. I heard about Darfur through my daughters' school long before it became the "it" cause.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
I admire anyone, celebrity or not, who is personally committed to a cause, but their efforts don't really inspire me to act if that cause is not one that I personally care about and am already committed to supporting.
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