As her fundraiser for the Aussie bushfire crisis ticks over to $40 million after just four days, Celeste Barber has delivered a searing message to the wealthier members of the global community.
The Instagram star took to the platform on Tuesday to call out ‘billionaires’ for their apparent reluctance to donate during the current catastrophe compared with their response when France’s Notre-Dame cathedral caught fire last year.
“Remember when Notre Dame burnt down – very sad, don’t get me wrong, RIP Notre-Dame, historic building,” she said in a video shared to her Stories.
“And something like billions of dollars were raised, by I think like a handful of people. Where are those people now?” she asked.
The mum-of-four went on to reveal that it was small donations from ‘everyday’ people – not the mega-rich – that had helped her fundraiser for the NSW Rural Fire Service reach the extraordinary amount it is today.
“Because I tell you what, everyday people are donating $10 here, $10 there, that’s what’s getting us to now $40 million,” she said.
The actor/comedian then urged the billionaires to contribute what she called ‘their version of $10’ – “like a million Euro” – and in true Celeste humour, directed them to the swipe up link.
“Now listen, billionaires, ‘sup! If you’re not sure where to donate swipe up, I’ve made it easy for you or your assistant. Or your assistant’s assistant,” she dead-panned.
“We need assistance, please billionaires,” she demanded, captioning the clip ‘Get busy billionaires’.
As well as raising tens of millions of dollars for the state’s hard-working firies, Celeste and her ‘hot husband’ Api Robin have also been on the ground volunteering at a local donations centre.
French landmark Notre-Dame de Paris was severely damaged when the roof caught fire during planned renovation on April 15, 2019. Three emergency workers sustained non-threatening injuries and no deaths occurred.
The following day, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the medieval Catholic cathedral would be restored to its former glory and launched a fundraising campaign that attracted over €1 billion ($1.6 billion) within a week.
Significant donations were made by the country’s ‘wealthiest individuals and companies’ including actor Salma Hayek’s husband and luxury goods brand CEO François-Henri Pinault who pledged USD$113 million, according to TIME.
The outpouring of money attracted criticism, however, with many arguing that the immense sum would be better spent on France’s homeless population, for example.
Recent reports from the ABC state that Notre-Dame officials have yet to see a ‘single cent’ from their generous and wealthy benefactors.
To date, bushfires burning across Australia since late 2019 have claimed the lives of 24 people, destroyed 2,500 homes and wiped out half a billion animals so far.
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