NBC to Air ‘Star-Studded’ Prime Time Fundraising Special for Ukraine

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky appears on screen during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

NBC will be airing what it described as a “star-studded” special to raise money for Ukraine for the sake of “spreading awareness through the power of entertainment.”

Airing on Sunday at 7 p.m., the star-studded special, Ukraine: Answering the Call, will feature the likes of Kristen Bell, Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Julianne Moore, Rosie Perez, Jon Batiste, Brandi Carlile, Brian Cox, Vera Farmiga, Jeff Daniels, Lena Headey and Simu Liu.

It will also include remarks from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

According to The Hill, a group of Broadway performers will also be joining the special for a rendition of “What the World Needs Now is Love.”

“During the broadcast, viewers will have the chance to help families impacted by the crisis in Ukraine by donating to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an organization that helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives,” the network said.

Jeff Daniels attends the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 09, 2019 in New York City. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Actress Julianne Moore attends the screening of ‘Final Cut (Coupez!)’ and opening ceremony red carpet for the 75th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 17, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

Celebrities have been active in their support of Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in March. Sean Penn, U2’s Bono, and Ben Stiller have all visited the country or have met with President Zelensky.

“The stories of the people who experienced the first few days of this war — speaking to them and hearing these really harrowing stories — was very affecting,” Stiller told AFP. “To see the physical destruction of those neighbourhoods, it’s really massive, and it’s impossible not to be affected by that.”

“There was one very young man who… talked about it like something out of a horror film, just being hit by these missiles, not knowing if he should stay or run,” Stiller added. “To see how traumatised he was — he felt his life had been changed forever. It’s really tough when you hear a young person say that, and you realise the effects of war are not always visible.”

Sean Penn outright called for a boycott of the Oscars if Zelensky was not honored during the telecast.

“If it turns out to be what is happening, I would encourage everyone involved — and I know that even though it may be their moment to celebrate their films, it is so, more importantly, their moment to shine and to protest and to boycott that Academy Awards,” said Penn.

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