While the world’s largest Ebola outbreak is no longer grabbing headlines in the United States, the people of West Africa are still struggling with the reality of the disease. This has led the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 to release a new PSA calling for donations to the Ebola Survival Fund.
Jeffrey Wright, who plays Beetee in Mockingjay, has had an interest in the region since the Ebola crisis began in December 2013, which inspired him to produce the ad with the help of his co-stars.
“My concern is as much with the people we work with directly as it is with the larger population of Sierra Leone,” Wright previously told the Hollywood Reporter. “One of the enablers for the historic proportions of the outbreak is that in the rural areas of Sierra Leone and Guinea and Liberia, there’s essentially zero medical infrastructure in place. Zero.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Liam Hemsworth and Mahershala Ali all appear in the video with Wright, alongside Partners in Health founder Dr. Paul Farmer.
Wright said of the new ad:
The Hunger Games allegory aligns with this Ebola outbreak in that we, the United States, the West, relative to this, is very much like the Capitol and Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, are very much like the outer districts.
I thought, well, let’s play with that idea as a way of highlighting the stark contrast between we, the Capitol, and they, the outer districts, and using some of the constructs from the movie as a way of shining additional light on some of the contrasts.
The video begins with U.S. media coverage of the Ebola outbreak, which Wright told Entertainment Weekly “disturbed” him.
The PSA then sheds light on the effects of the still deadly crisis on the people of West Africa, stating:
Ebola 12.06.13 – 12.22.14
Confirmed cases worldwide: 19,648
Conformed cases in West Africa: 19,643
American patients treated in US hospitals: 8
Percentage of those Americans that survived: 100%
“The world is facing the largest Ebola outbreak in history,” says Wright in the video. “But the countries hit hardest are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” Jennifer Lawrence finishes.
The stars go on to plead for aid for victims of the disease, as the video introduces survivors who are now healthy, seemingly living normal lives. Dr. Paul Farmer then urges people to donate aid for those afflicted, whom the video says also struggle with basic medical care and general necessities, such as food and water.
“Ebola is not a death sentence,” says Julianne Moore.