Celebrity News

Ben Affleck Slams Stars' Self-Promoting Humanitarian Efforts

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Jun 26, 2008 | 8:50am EDT

Actor Ben Affleck has hit out at stars who use charity campaigns to promote their own careers.

The Daredevil star--who has made three trips to Africa in the last eight months--returned from his own humanitarian mission in Africa's Democratic Republic of Congo in May.

Affleck reveals that the birth of his young daughter Violet in 2005 inspired his efforts to help those less fortunate, but he claims many of Hollywood's big names are simply seeking publicity.

The 35-year-old, who met with warlords and child warriors on his fact-finding mission, says, "Here I am, this actor. There's the potential for one of these cliché actors showing up out of the middle of nowhere in Africa. It's really critical for me to learn and to understand and not to be some outsider who shows up and says, 'I know what's happening and I know what should be done.'

"It's important for me to understand and to learn and to demonstrate humility. And in order to learn--particularly when you're talking about instability and conflict is one of the critical issues... you have to talk to the people who are involved... It's a very complex, interesting situation and it warrants exploration."

The growing turmoil in Africa's Congo region has been called one of the world's worst humanitarian crises this century. Conflicts in the area have caused the death of more than four million people--more than have died in any battle since World War II.

Affleck's video-documented journey will debut on Thursday's episode of evening-news program Nightline.

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