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April 14, 2009

Hollywood's Starring Role in Prop 2

Celebrities lend their support to the Yes! on Prop 2 campaign

The Humane Society of the United States

 

By now, everyone knows that history was made in California in November's auspicious general election. 

The passage of Proposition 2, which will end the cruel confinement of millions of farm animals by banning gestation and veal crates, and battery cages, was achieved by an overwhelming margin, proving that the public has no appetite for the inhumane treatment of animals.

This landmark measure was passed thanks to the monumental efforts of an army of grassroots volunteers and an HSUS-spearheaded media campaign that won the hearts and minds of the people with a direct, no nonsense presentation of the hard facts.

Stars Shine for Animals

But it was the generous support of a wide array of high-profile celebrities who helped kick start the successful Yes! On Prop 2 campaign by lending their names, their time, and their pocket books to the cause that really made this campaign stand out. 

Beginning with a series of video endorsements posted on YouTube and The HSUS website, celebrities such as Hilary Duff, Alicia Silverstone, James Cromwell, Russell Simmons, Esai Morales, Edward Asner, Wendie Malick, and Amy Smart, among many others, lined up to make their voices heard.

Other celebrities and public figures who willingly lent their names to a stellar list of Yes! On Prop 2 supporters included Robert Redford, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Sir Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot, Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette, Bill Maher, Hayden Panettiere, Daryl Hannah, and Heather Mills.

Partying for a Purpose

However, it was the "Making History Under the Stars" September fund-raiser, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at the Bel Air home of philanthropist John V. Winfield, that really propelled Prop 2 into the mainstream media, and thus the public consciousness. 

Demonstrating the power and influence of the Hollywood community, this compassion-charged event literally "made history" by becoming the biggest ever fundraiser for an animal cause, raising more than $1 million, and attracting the likes of Tobey Maguire, Heather Graham, Amber Tamblyn, Jared Leto, Arianna Huffington, Moby and Carole King, to name but a few. The proceeds from the event helped finance the campaign's all-important TV ads.

Due to the star-studded turnout, "Making History" garnered blanket media coverage, bringing the issue of the treatment of farm animals to the viewers of popular shows like Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and Extra, as well as the millions of readers of People Magazine.

And, while Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi may have been one of the main reasons for all that media attention, Ellen didn't confine her Prop 2 support to hosting our fund raiser. She promoted the initiative and featured HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle on her top-rated NBC show earlier in the week.

Overwhelming Support

Also lending her iconic status as an influential TV personality was Oprah Winfrey, who devoted an entire episode of her show to Prop 2, which took a vivid look at the treatment of animals raised for food in both factory farms and small, cage-free facilities.  Oprah also attended an exclusive gathering in support of the measure in Santa Barbara.

This historic victory for animals was a collective effort on the part of many dedicated and tireless individuals, animal advocacy, and public interest groups, but the celebrities had a starring role in Californians' voting an emphatic YES! on Prop 2.

Click here to read about the "Making History Under the Stars" fundraiser for Prop 2.

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