Stephen Colbert’s Awkward Celebrity Photo Campaign Raises $1 Million for Puerto Rico
But one group seems to have taken the hurricane-ravaged island as their cause du jour: celebrities.
Stephen Colbert joined the efforts and started a viral movement on Twitter and Instagram when actor Nick Kroll came on his show last week, encouraging stars to share awkward childhood pictures of themselves with the hashtags #PuberMe and #PuertoRicoRelief. Each celebrity photo posted would lead to a $1,000 donation to benefit hurricane victims.
On Thursday, Colbert gave an update on his show, sharing the over 200 photos of stars that were posted, from celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen, to Kristen Bell and Martin Short. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton got in on the action.
The television host announced that the campaign had raised $233,000. But then, Nick Kroll called in, donating an additional $1,000. And in what quickly became an apparent game of one upmanship, CBS (CBS) head Leslie Moonves donated his two cents, bringing the total to $666,000.
That’s not all. Colbert then announced that his Americone Dream Fund would make a second donation of $266,000, for all the non-celebrities who participated in the campaign (according to Colbert, there were more than 75,000 tweets with the hashtag #PuberMe). Then Kroll threw more money into the pot, and the tally grew to $999,000.
Rather than call it a day at a totally respectable $999,000, Colbert called out for another awkward celebrity photo that would bring the donations to an even $1 million.
All of the money will be going to OneAmericaAppeal.org, the appeal launched by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.