Whenever I write about Sharon Stone and amFAR, there’s trouble. Three years ago I wrote about amFAR unceremoniously ditching Stone as auctioneer and star of their annual “Cinema Against AIDS” dinner. http://www.showbiz411.com/2010/04/20/shock-sharon-stone-out-as-cannes-amfar-auction-star. I’ve been persona non grata with amFAR ever since.
Stone was absent for Cinema Against AIDS in 2010, 2011, and 2012. She was banished to amFAR events in far flung places like Brazil. (Last week she attended the Inspiration Ball there, made out with model Kate Moss, and raised $53,000.) This didn’t seem so smart, since this great movie star and philanthropist always was the main attraction at Cannes. The guests loved her, and she was passionate about the cause. But you know these charities–there’s lots of political infighting at every level. Designer Kenneth Cole pretty much took over from there, but he was never the draw that Stone was, despite his high quality socks.
So now I am hearing rumblings that Stone may be back. We’ve heard this before. But it may be true, at last. To some, amFAR has been eclipsed by the far more transparent and press-friendly Elton John AIDS Foundation, as well as many other groups doing important work around the world. So we will hold out hope for a Stone return. But frankly, “Cinema Against AIDS” isn’t what it used to be. There’s always a struggle to get musical entertainment; every year it seems like Kylie Minogue is the “surprise” guest. And the festival itself schedules at least one or two important movie premieres against it, making it harder and harder to get the requisite talent to do make more than a fleeting appearance.
PS amFAR should really check schedules. Their New York fundraiser this spring looks like it will be eclipsed by an incredibly star studded Songwriters Hall of Fame gala on June 13th, honoring Aerosmith, Foreigner, Berry Gordy and tons of music superstars.