Friday, April 12, 2024

Sketchy Global Citizen Says It’s Sponsored by Gucci Foundation, But How? They Exist on Paper Only


The very sketchy Global Citizen Festival– a rock concert for people to feel good about themselves– is on the air right now on MSNBC. The great Stevie Wonder is performing.

But Stevie doesn’t know about Global Citizen, which spends millions on rock concerts and celebrities but gives no money to actual people for poverty, hunger or AIDS.

Curious: Global Citizen says it’s sponsored by Gucci and a Gucci program called Chime for Change. Maybe they are, but not by the Gucci Foundation.

Federal tax filings for the Gucci Foundation from 2013, 2014, and 2015 show that the 501 c3 just has enough money its coffers for administrative purposes– around $7,000. There’s no sign of any donations to anything, no money in or out. And no mention of Chime for Change.

There is some remnant of Chime for Change on the internet. In 2014 they sold cheap headphones with their logo. They’re still floating around ebay for between $20 and $40.

In fact, Chime for Change seems to be a branding name for a campaign by UNICEF.

Gucci never was particularly charitable. A decade ago they invented the Gucci Foundation to collect money for Madonna’s first Raising Malawi foundation concert. No one ever has accounted for that money and didn’t go to Malawi. The money may have gone to the Kabbalah Center.

There is no record of a Gucci Foundation in the UK, by the way. And nothing for Chime for Change.

Meantime, MSNBC– Global Citizen’s broadcast partner– has cut into Stevie Wonder’s live show twice with long sets of commercials. Chris Martin of Coldplay, named a Global Citizen ambassador, played the I Heart Radio show in Vegas. And President Barack Obama declined an invitation to Global Citizen.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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