Celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Lena Dunham are opening their wallets for a charity helping victims of an Oakland warehouse fire that killed more than 30 people last weekend, a kind gesture that will help families recover from losing a loved one in the horrific blaze.
According to TMZ, Handler gave $5,000 to a YouCaring fundraiser looking to help those injured by the fire, which started in an overflowing “art collective” during a late night underground party. Dunham pitched in $500. The fund has raised $540,000 so far, with a goal of collecting $750,000 for injured victims and grieving families.
But while they’re happy cutting checks, few Hollywood A-listers are chipping in to help rebuild Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where around 100 families were left homeless by a raging wildfire. The last update from Tennessee’s emergency management department says nearly 14,000 people are still unable to return to Gatlinburg, and around 12,000 families are without electricity.
But those fire victims have had to rely on the generosity of local celebrities and the country music community — not millionaire celebrity feminists.
Dolly Parton, whose theme park is near Gatlinburg, and who grew up in the Smokey Mountains, has donated thousands to the recovery efforts.
Country star Kenny Chesney, the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country music have also been very generous, with Chesney giving more than half a million to help Gatlinburg residents rebuild. Amy Grant, Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and Chris Young will headline a telethon next week to raise money for My People Fund, Parton’s charity.
But the only A-lister to contribute, so far, has been Lena Dunham’s pal Taylor Swift, who gave $100,000 to relief efforts. Dunham ignored the tragedy altogether, preferring to cover more important issues with her social media fan base.
So why the disparity? Perhaps it’s because Gatlinburg has been a prime target of celebrity politicos, who have used the fires to mock and belittle Tennessee residents who voted for Donald Trump for President over the celebrity-preferred Hillary Clinton.
The sentiment may have earned celebrities a backlash on Twitter, leading them to apologize and delete the offending public statements, but they clearly don’t intend to adjust their personal assumptions, even to help people in desperate need.