When devastated New Orleans three years ago, celebrities reacted with a mix of grief, outrage and generosity. All-star telethons raised millions for storm victims, Kanye West and others derided the government's response — even Sean Penn went to the region to personally assist in rescue efforts.
Many celebrities who live in or hail from the area, from John Goodman to Brett Favre, took a deep and personal interest in helping relief efforts. Ellen DeGeneres, a New Orleans native whose elderly aunt, cousins and friends had their Gulf Coast homes destroyed, taped an episode of her show dedicated to the devastation.
With Hurricane Gustav only delivering a glancing blow to the region at Category 2 strength instead of the wallop that was predicated, it was still unclear Monday what the celebrity response would be in its wake. Though Gustav was still battering the area with rain and high winds on Monday night, there was no damage or deaths on the scale of Katrina.
Jerry Lewis' annual Labor Day telethon raised a record $65 million for the — but also made a pitch for those inconvenienced by Hurricane Gustav. This year's 22-hour telethon added a special plea for MDA-registered families forced to leave their homes because of the hurricane.
Efforts to reach stars from the area, such as rapper Lil Wayne, jazz star and actor Harry Connick Jr. and jazz great Wynton Marsalis — were unsuccessful on Monday, when most offices were closed due to the Labor Day holiday.
Representatives for New Orleans for about a year after Katrina struck, also did not return messages. The couple and their famously expanding brood stayed in the city while Pitt was filming "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last and were active in raising funds and other projects to rebuild the city., who lived in
West famously chastised President Bush during a national telethon to raise funds after Katrina struck by saying, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." But on his blog today, his postings centered around new music from Lupe Fiasco and a new style of watch rather than Gustav.