General News

Hollywood stars rally for oil spill telethon

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Jun 18, 2010 | 3:30pm EDT

TV bosses at CNN have answered actor Ian Somerhalder's call for action to help boost donations to the areas in the Gulf of Mexico worst affected by the huge catastrophe, which has been ruled the worst environmental disaster in American history.

The Vampire Diaries star, who hails from Covington, near to the coastline where oil is washing up daily, issued the plea to his Hollywood pals earlier this week (begs14Jun10) after seeing the huge success of George Clooney's Hope for Haiti Now telethon in January (10). Clooney's event raised a massive $57 million (£38 million) to help rebuild the earthquake-ravaged country.

Somerhalder told E! Online, "Coming from the entertainment world, I'm really shaken by how quiet Hollywood is. And I say that out of respect for my peers and colleagues, but I'm really bummed that no one is really coming up to help the situation. I think a telethon is a good way to funnel money into these channels. We need to set one of those things up to really paint a picture of exactly how much devastation is here.

"This is ground zero right now. I'm looking at this slick of oil. I've been watching pelicans die. This place is going to need money, that is the bottom line - money in the right hands to replant these marshes. (It) really breaks my heart..."

The Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help telethon for oil spill victims will take place during a special two-hour edition of Larry King Live on Monday (21Jun10), with appearances from a slew of additional celebrities, including Ted Danson, Tim McGraw, Alyssa Milano, Justin Bieber, Jenny McCarthy and Pete Wentz, while Sting is scheduled to perform.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will also front a special online edition for fans to watch on the internet.

The charity event will raise funds for a variety of relief organisations, such as the United Way, the National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy.

News of the telethon follows BP bosses' pledge on Wednesday (16Jun10) to invest $20 billion into the clean-up effort and to help put unemployed fishermen and restaurant staff back to work after the disaster.

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