The devastating wildfires in Australia were front-and-center during Sunday night's (Jan. 5) Golden Globe Awards, with a number of presenters and winners sending their prayers to those impacted by the blazes and imploring viewers to help those in need while stressing the urgency of the effects of climate change in producing such generational catastrophes. With an estimated 12.35 million acres burned so far and the smoke so thick it can be seen from space, one of the nation's biggest stars, Kylie Minogue, announced on Monday morning (Jan. 6) that her family has donated $500,000 to the firefighting efforts.
"Big or small, from near or far, any support will help those affected by the devastating bushfires," Minogue wrote.
Last year I had the incredible opportunity of visiting some of the many beautiful places in my homeland for the first time.
Returning home to such devastation throughout much of the country is heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/5RWYZDQyBg
— Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) January 6, 2020
Minogue joined Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman and P!nk in giving massive donations — $500,000 from the couple and the singer, respectively — to support the firefighters battling the dozens of fires that have resulted in the evacuations of thousands of residents in coastal towns such as New South Wales and Victoria and at least 24 deaths as the flames from the five months-old blazes have reached the suburban edges of Sydney.
Celine Dion and Ozzy Osbourne have also urged her fans to do whatever they can to help, with Dion tweeting a picture with a koala and writing, "the horrendous fires in Australia are absolutely devastating. It’s heartbreaking to see the destruction they are causing. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Australia. If you can, please donate to help. – Céline."
The horrendous fires in Australia are absolutely devastating. It’s heartbreaking to see the destruction they are causing. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Australia. If you can, please donate to help. – Céline xx… #AustraliaFires https://t.co/onPf6P0rn5 pic.twitter.com/zhkRNhcxrU
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) January 6, 2020
Victoria CFA: https://t.co/rNcJua4Oyx
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) January 5, 2020
According to NPR, the Australian government has called up the largest military deployment since WWII to battle the fires, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison coming under fire for his slow response to the historically lengthy fire season and resisting national intervention before this weekend; bush fires are normally handled by state governments. Morrison has been roundly criticized for taking a vacation in Hawaii in December while his country burned out of control in one of the worst fire seasons ever and his frequent dismissal of the impact of climate change on the nation that just suffered through its hottest and driest year ever.
The fires were on the minds of the stars at the Globes on Sunday, with The Act winner Patricia Arquette speaking out against Pres. Trump's decision to kill powerful Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani last week and her fears of what that action and continued climate change denial could have on her children. "Young people risking their lives, traveling across the world, people not knowing if bombs are going to drop on their kids’ heads, and the continent of Australia on fire,” she said. “So while I love my kids so much, I beg of us all to give them a better world.”
The Loudest Voice winner Russell Crowe was not on hand to collect his acting award because he was reportedly trying to defend his home from the fires, but sent a message read by presenter Jennifer Aniston. “Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-change-based,” he said in the statement. “We need to act based on science, move our global work force to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way we all have a future.”
Both Carol Burnett Award for Lifetime Achievement winner Ellen DeGeneres and Joker winner Joaquin Phoenix also sent love to the nation, with animal rights activist DeGeneres lamenting "all the animals that we've lost" — which experts estimate could top half a billion — and Phoenix saying, “It’s really nice that so many people have sent their well wishes to Australia but we have to do more than that. Hopefully, we can be unified and actually make some changes. It’s great to vote, but sometimes we have to take that responsibility on ourselves and make changes and sacrifices in our own lives."