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A in A-List Stands for Africa

10/17/2006 6:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

So you're an A-list celebrity. You've got everything the observable and commercially-available world could possibly offer -- bling, black card, Bentley. How do you truly distinguish yourself from your peers as a world-class member of celebdom's royalty? Apparently, you take the first Gulfstream to Africa.

Indeed, like lemmings, younger Hollywood is angling to get their own 15 minutes of sub-Saharan fame. Lindsay Lohan has talked about wanting to visit, Britney Spears was rumored to be planning a Jolie-like Namibian birth, and even Paris Hilton is reportedly trying to get in on the act by filming a reality program there.

Of course, Madonna, with her recent adoption of baby David in Malawi, is just the latest celebrity to flock to the continent, making endless headlines in the process. Bono, has been an incredibly diligent and active advocate for African causes for years, and Oprah built a school in South Africa in 2002, among other efforts. Jay-Z, along with the UN, took up the cause of clean water, and has been touring there over the last month, and Alicia Keys has been deeply involved with Africa AIDS charities ever since a 2004 visit.

But if all those stars made Africa seem like a good idea, Angelina Jolie made it a truly glamorous one -- and though she's contributed a great deal, one UN development officer with projects in Africa tells TMZ that it's not all good . "She gave aid work a certain sheen, and made Africa seem like the kind of place you can just go and make something happen," says the UN officer, who asked that we not use her name. "But the reality is that when celebrities decide they're going to go to Africa and 'do something,' the amount of actual good they do can be so disproportionate to the disruption they cause."

27 COMMENTS

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1.

ddk    

whoever wrote this article,

the reason why they're going to africa you f***ing bonehead is because idiots like you who are supposed to be providing americans with news stories that actually have something to do with actual "goings on" in the world waste your time on sites like these that don't have diddly squat to do with anything. if anything happening in africa good or bad ever made it on the airwaves they they wouldn't even be pulling the stunts they are to call attention to the continent. of course the white racist american media wouldn't dare spend any time covering anything but white racism and ethnic stereotypes, hence your stupid article above making mockery of otherwise good deeds. but you wouldn't have been able to figure that out on your own now would you?

2868 days ago
2.

anon    

Madonna is sooooooooooo OVER
what are poor black children worth...I think they are this years newest fashion accessory---sadly

2867 days ago
3.

SICK IGNORANCE    

It is really sad when celebrities like Madonna wants to get on the band wagon and adopt African children and make news doing it. Believe me these people need help and Little David will have a much better life here in America then being in a orpanage. But she could have done it with all the exposure. Why just one. She can afford more. When Angelina went there and people praised her not Madonna wants to do it. Would they adopt a black child here in the states. There are alot of children to adopt here. Come on help but from the heart not for the fame

2867 days ago
4.

Myla    

If it weren't for celebrities such as Angelina, Brad, Bono, George Clooney and Oprah then western media wouldn't cover the genocide in the Sudan or the plight of refugees around the world. When celebs like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton spend their nights club hopping, we the public complain and tell them to do something worthwhile with their lives. When celebs try to use their celebrity to bring attention to worthy causes, the public bitches and moans and tells them to shut up. Get real! I will always support anyone, celeb or non celeb who tries to make this world a better place for others. TMZ you should be ashamed of yourself.

2867 days ago
5.

sam    

>>like lemmings??
Sort of like you journalist lemmings, following them over there, huh?

Why don't you TMZ staffers do something worth a sh*t instead of tearing down those trying to do good? Or is it jealousy that you're journalists want-a-be's can only seek out and destroy people so obviously better than them. Why are you giving crap to people (any one) trying to help out those less fortunate? Makes you come off as mean hearted losers.

2867 days ago
6.

vicki    

gisele are you serious? what a person can afford isn't the only thing to consider in adopting. as to where they adopt from, if these people adopt anywhere it would be news like when sharon stone adopted, but a child is a child wherever they are from i don't think that is a valid complaint.

2867 days ago
7.

Afiya    

@ # 1 - Standing and

Hope your comment gets their attention...cause I think we've all HAD ENOUGH of PH, LL and the rest of the Hollyweird Tramps.

Print some substance TMZ.

2867 days ago
8.

Afiya    

@ # 1 - Standing and APPLAUDING!

Hope your comment gets their attention...cause I think we've all HAD ENOUGH of PH, LL and the rest of the Hollyweird Tramps.

Print some substance TMZ.

2867 days ago
9.

WesleySnips    

Guys--if you hate these kinds of stories, don't read them!
I want to know why these stars adopt healthy "normal" children. Celebrities have the money to adopt a special needs child. Why don't they ever do that?

2867 days ago
10.

Ming    

A RETRACTION FROM THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (very reputable paper in Australia)

On Monday we reported Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had failed to pay up on a pledge of more than $300,000 to charities in Namibia, where their baby, Shiloh, was born. We have since been informed the couple have made good on the donation, giving $300,000 to a hospital and $15,000 to a community group. According to online gossip site Laineygossip.com, "the Pitts aren't cheap. They didn't bail on Namibia.'' Ivanna Iafigliola-Kriner of the DRC School Project & Community Centre confirmed the donation and we felt obliged to let our Brangelina fans know. Even celebrities deserve a break. Sometimes.

2867 days ago
11.

Alex    

Hey TMZ, Angelina Jolie and others are doing good things for Africa, and here you are printing crap, if it wasn't people like Angelina, Bono and the others people would have never known about the travesty that is going on in Africa, especially the condition in Darfur etc., so why don't you tell you source in the UN to woman up and give her name, why is she refusing to give her name, if she so think that what Angelina and the others are doing is so wrong, then she should not be afraid to give her name and come out of hiding. You people just like to rag on Angelina, get a freaking life and leave her alone, she is doing something good for Africa and what are you people doing, nothing but sitting on your asses passing judgment on Angelina Jolie and others who are only trying to help the people of Africa.

2867 days ago
12.

lotte    

Angelina Jolie has been doing her UN for at least 6 yrs.now. Aside from AFRICA , Jolie is also involved in other parts of the world. Cambodia , Pakistan , Jordan to name a few. I am not sure of the motives of the latest celebrities who do their charities in Africa, but I sure know Jolie is doing it as a sincere and passionate aim to help the needy.
People just need to read legit. news media. The tabs. will only provide you the latest on who dumps who and that's a shame.!!!

2867 days ago
13.

Mary    

Harvey Levin and his TMZ staff need to spend time in those war ravaged countries and see for themselves what is going on with those children, just may be then they will come back with a different perspective.

I applaud any one who can open their home and their heart to a less fortunate child. It is easy give money when you have it, but it is another thing to give of your heart, celebrity or not. I will always have special respect for Angelina Jolie because of how she relates to this people. She makes them feel like some one cares about their plight. The media can rag on her all they want, and the bitter dumped women can call her all the vile names under the sun, the truth of the matter is that she is making her time in this world count for some thing. She was able to get out of her comfort zone and connect with other people that she did not share the same life experiences with. If it is only only one child that she saved, then her life has been one well lived.

TMZ, you are a disgrace!

2867 days ago
14.

pip    

Why do you people hate Angelina soo much?

Did you go to the UN to ask about all celebrieties contributions to Africa or just Jolie contribution? Or did the UN worker just by any chance decided to use Angelina as an example.

She is doing something and l would like to know what the staffs of TMZ are doing to help AFRICA .

You comparing the years Bono has being helping Africa to Jolie is not a good comparison since Bono is so much older than Jolie. Jolie has being doing UN work for six years and she is only 31.

2867 days ago
15.

sam    

Dear TMZ staff,

I'll never understand why helping people (Ok let's even say it's just for publicity) is a bad thing. Everyone benefits and no one loses. So what can be bad about this? Maybe if more celebrities wanted to jump on the band wagon (or be "like lemmings" as you put it) it might finally make a difference in this world. When did we all get so jaded that we look for the bad aspects instead of the good? I'd like to see TMZ write an article about this with a positive tone for a change.

2867 days ago
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