Sunday, August 6

The Material Girl as Philanthropist?

It seems Madonna has found her calling. Although she hasn't ever touched foot in Africa, in a recent interview with Time Magazine, she announced her intention to provide $1 million in financing for a documentary about the plight of Malawian children. She's also met with Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Sachs about financing other housing projects for orphans.

It's true that as causes go, Madonna did not choose a difficult one to champion. African orphans--photogenic, sympathetic, innocent--are not a hard sell. (An A-list star brave enough to fight for the rights of, say, the mentally ill has yet to emerge--unless acting crazy counts as advocacy.) But she recognized, as she has so often before, an opportunity to really make an impression. "My first thing was, I'm going to call people who I know have money, and I'm going to call people who I know want to make a difference in the world," she says.

You could say Madonna has a track record for publicity stunts. But so what if it is?

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