Charitable asks isn’t a new thing to do for many celebrities but in the age of the novel coronavirus spread and the spiking numbers of COVID-19 diagnoses domestically, we may be seeing more. Pharrell Williams made such a call on social media Tuesday afternoon (May 24) and is catching a bit of heat as a result.
Via Twitter, Williams, 46, reached out to his 10 million-plus followers and announced the launching of a GoFundMe campaign for first responders tackling the novel coronavirus situation. The Virginia producer is working alongside Flexport.org Fund at CAF America for this current effort.
“Hospitals are running low on masks, gowns, and other critical items. We need to replenish their supplies,” Pharrell wrote in the tweet. “Take action, make a donation, and ask others to join the fight. We’re in this together. Let’s protect the responders on the frontlines.”
Williams’ name began trending on Twitter after some users noted his estimated $150 million net worth. For those critical of the launching of the fund, the criticism is Williams and other wealthy celebrities asking for money doesn’t add up while others see the wisdom of a famous person amplifying a worthy cause.
For what it’s worth, former California governor and action movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger donated $1 million. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow donated $100,000, and an anonymous donated $250,000. And Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has donated $25,000 So far, the fund has raised well over $3 million en route to a $10 million goal.
Despite this, some are still angered that Williams’ lavish lifestyle and considerable wealth signals that he shouldn’t be the one leading this charge, or at the very least, he should be funding a majority of this effort from his own earnings.
Check out the reactions from Twitter below.