George Clooney Explains How MTV’s ‘Hope For Haiti’ Telethon Came Together

Telethon airs on MTV, other networks Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

As the crisis in Haiti continues in the wake of Tuesday’s devastating 7.0 earthquake, George Clooney and Wyclef Jean are getting set to stage a global telethon to rally support and raise money to help the embattled country. On the red carpet of the Golden Globe Awards
on Sunday night (January 17), Clooney revealed how the MTV Networks-sponsored benefit came together.

“You guys started it,” the actor said. “The first call I made was to Judy [McGrath, MTV Networks' chief executive]. She said, ‘Yes, everybody will do it, everybody’s in’ and that they were thinking of doing it too. They got the ball rolling and we got every single network after that. So congratulations to you!”

In the days since the telethon was first announced, Wyclef Jean and CNN’s Anderson Cooper have joined in as hosts; they will broadcast from New York and Haiti, respectively, while Clooney will be in Los Angeles. The show will air commercial-free across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT on Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. All donations will directly benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Foundation . Facebook and MySpace have signed on as official social-media partners to help steer viewers to the telethon and drive donations.

Elsewhere on the red carpet, Clooney told The Associated Press that Bono, Sting, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys will perform at the telethon; at press time, an official lineup had not been confirmed.

Before the telethon airs, Clooney wanted to remind young people that there are many ways to help the people of Haiti .

“I would say, ‘Get involved, whatever you do,’ ” the Oscar-winner said. “This is about compassion. There are times in our lives when people are really without help and in real danger, and this is one of those times. So whatever they can do — give money to one of the organizations that they like the best.”

Head here to learn more about what you can do to help with earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti, and for more information, see THINK mtv.