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Medium: Brian Johnson

BY RACHAEL LANDER | FEBRUARY 10, 2010 7:30 AM

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Dear Brian Johnson,

Leave Bono alone. Just because you and the rest of the AC/DC members don’t mesh music with humanitarian acts doesn’t mean other celebrities can’t.

During your recent interview with the Australian-based Daily Telegraph, you said you didn’t go to concerts to hear rockers speak out on behalf of important causes. Fair enough — it’s doubtful anyone goes to a concert to actually hear about any rockers’ charity work — but don’t they speak out to inspire people to contribute to those in need?

Don’t you think in some way it’s beneficial when celebrities publicly support causes? Let’s use Bono’s Red campaign as an example. In January 2006, the U2 frontman partnered with Bobby Shriver to launch (Product)RED, a program that collaborates with businesses to sell items branded with the Red logo. The point? A certain percentage of proceeds goes to help HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Thanks to Red, more than $20 million has been raised to benefit those living with the aforementioned life-threatening disease. So let me break that down for you, Mr. Johnson. Bono (a rock star) put his face on a campaign for a cause he believed in. What happened? Millions of dollars have been raised to help those in need.

Red has faced its fair share of criticism to be sure; many argue that more money would have been raised had people donated directly to the cause instead of purchasing products when only a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

But do you really think if Bono hadn’t been the face for the campaign thousands of average people would have written checks to help fight HIV and AIDS? Yeah, right. Sometimes it takes a celebrity face to get people to shell out their money to help others.

Not a good enough example for you? Well, let’s expand our celebrity humanitarians to include movie stars and take a look at the recent Haiti disaster.

After the earthquake, Hollywood stepped up. Many (such as Sandra Bullock, Brangelina, and Gisele Bündchen) pledged at least $1 million each to help relief efforts. So maybe those checks were initially written in private, but the next thing they did was supremely public.

George Clooney teamed with MTV to help organize “Hope for Haiti Now: The Telethon” during which celebrities from Alicia Keys to Jay-Z to Bono himself performed and recorded an album — donating all the proceeds directly to helping Haiti.

And it didn’t stop there. Celebs flocked to the phones, answering calls, and collecting money from the masses. In fact, more than $35 million has been raised to support Haiti relief through the “Hope For Haiti Now” fund. Do you think that much could have been raised if the rich and famous hadn’t stepped up for the cause? Not a chance.

So, Mr. Johnson, what do you think now? Do you think it may be the teeniest bit beneficial for charities around the world to have celebrity support? Don’t you think that more money has been raised to help those in need simply because we have rockers and movie stars putting their faces on campaigns?

Why don’t you keep quiet about your disdain for those that care about spreading a humanitarian message, keep donating your private checks, and stop criticizing Bono.

Thank you.


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