Networks Join Forces for Star-Studded Hurricane Harvey Telethon
Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand and Reese Witherspoon are set to appear on the broadcast, which will air on the big four broadcast networks and CMT next Tuesday.
ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and CMT have joined forced to air a Hurricane Harvey relief telethon, it was announced today.
George Clooney, Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand and Reese Witherspoon are among the stars set to appear on the broadcast, set for Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET.
Houston rapper Bun B and Scooter Braun organized the telethon, “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief." The one-hour special, which will air across the big four broadcast networks and on CMT, will be based in Los Angeles, with stages in New York and Nashville. The event will also feature a performance from Texas native George Strait from his San Antonio benefit concert. The show will broadcast live on the East Coast and replay on the West Coast and will be available online via live stream on Facebook and Twitter during the East Coast airing.
Other stars set to appear on the broadcast include Jamie Foxx, Karlie Kloss, Matt Lauer, Rob Lowe, Matthew McConaughey, Norah O'Donnell, Dennis Quaid, Julia Roberts, Kelly Rowland, Adam Sandler, Ryan Seacrest, Michael Strahan and Blake Shelton, with more names to be announced.
Proceeds from "Hand in Hand" will benefit United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas and The Mayor's Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief Inc. Phone lines, text messaging and digital donations will be open at the beginning of the show and conclude one hour after the show ends. More information is available here.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey has already spurred multiple, sizeable donations from individual stars and companies like Disney, Apple, Amazon and Telemundo. Disney also presented a "Day of Giving," last Thursday, during which its various channels raised money for the Red Cross.
Houston native Beyonce had previously said she and her team were working on a plan to "help as many as we can."
Harvey struck Texas on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane. Despite weakening to a tropical storm, Harvey produced 52 inches of rain, causing devastating floods in Houston and other areas. The storm is blamed for at least 60 deaths.
Following Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, Hollywood launched a number of fundraising efforts, including NBC's "Concert for Hurricane Relief," which aired Sept. 2. That benefit featured such stars as Leonardo DiCaprio, Mike Myers, Hilary Swank, Claire Danes and John Goodman, but is perhaps best remembered for Kanye West's off-script moment, in which he blasted the government's response to the disaster, declaring, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
On Wednesday, the Hand in Hand website posted a message that the benefit is also prepared to raise money for those affected by the impending Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that is bearing down on Florida.
Ellen DeGeneres also revealed on her show that she would be participating in the telethon along with DeGeneres' Wednesday guest Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon also shared some insights into which stars would be where. She said she would be in Nashville with Blake Shelton and DeGeneres and Winfrey will be part of the L.A. section. Witherspoon said she thinks Beyonce will be hosting in New York.
Sept. 6, 1:17 p.m. This story has been updated to include additional info from Reese Witherspoon's appearance on Ellen and that the benefit is prepared to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Irma.