Saturday, June 11, 2005

Pitt Cheered for Anti-Poverty Plea

ACTOR Brad Pitt's plea in a television interview this week for increased aid to poor countries and footage of him with children in Ethiopia are being credited with raising interest in a global anti-poverty campaign.

Viewers may have tuned in to Wednesday's interview with Pitt on the American ABC network hoping for some juicy tidbits about Angelina Jolie, co-star of his new movie Mr and Mrs Smith, but his humanitarian pitch apparently made a bigger impression.

Since the Primetime Live program was broadcast, more than 120,000 people have gone online to sign a petition urging President George W. Bush to pledge an additional one per cent of the US budget to humanitarian assistance and to prod fellow world leaders to follow suit, according to organisers of the One Campaign.

"It was a huge surge from weeks prior," One Campaign spokeswoman Jenny Volanakis said today. "The increase (in petitioners) was so dramatic that they are able to directly attribute it to" Pitt's TV appearance.

She said the anti-poverty effort has collected more than 900,000 email registrations since the campaign was launched in April.


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