“The year 2020 has become a defining period that has impacted all of us around the world in ways we could never have imagined,” said host Dwayne Johnson, explaining the intertwined forces that inspired NBC “Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert” Saturday: coronavirus and systemic racism.
“As we do our best to deal with the unprecedented difficulties this new virus can cause, we also continue to witness another ongoing disease that has plagued our world for decades, if not centuries: oppression and the inequality, “said Johnson, calling the death of George Floyd. in the hands of a Minneapolis police officer a “flash point.”
He continued: “Faced with these two ongoing battles, we must recognize that people living in poverty are those whose health is most threatened. It is not surprising that they are also the ones who suffer the most when economies fail. Our black Americans and people of color around the world have been hit the hardest in these unprecedented times. Access to aid is a fundamental right and we cannot and do not want it to be dictated by income or race. Equality is a fundamental right which we cannot be dictated by income or race. The future depends on what we do today. And today we unite for our future. ”
Like other benefit shows made during the coronavirus pandemic, such as the “Living Room Concert” in March, the “Unite for our Future” concert was held remotely, with participants from across the country and around the world. world.
A message remained constant throughout the broadcast: As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “To keep our citizens safe and revive our economies, we must fight this disease everywhere.”
Lead performer Jennifer Hudson sang “Where Peaceful Waters Flow” from the deck of a floating boat on the Chicago River, while For Love Choir performed an a capella interpretation of Beyoncé’s “Freedom” from a hill from Santa Clarita County, California.
“The power of women creates change. So let’s continue to come together to create this change – good change, “said the Oscar winner before embarking on her moving cover of the Gladys Knight and the Pips classic.
Other performers on the two-hour NBC show include Shakira, Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Quavo, Miley Cyrus, J Balvin, Yemi Alade and Christine and the Queens.
Miley Cyrus, performing a countryfied version of the Rose Bowl Beatles “Help” in Pasadena, California, dedicated her set to “those who work tirelessly on tests, treatments and vaccines so we can all come together in places like this. empty stage again. ”
Coldplay contributed a brightly colored video of their song “Paradise”, prefaced by a quote from Nelson Mandela: “Let your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. “
Gospel icon Kirk Franklin joined Tori Kelly and Christian music duo For King and Country to perform “Together”, interspersed with photos and footage from last month’s protests.
The original cast of “Hamilton” on Broadway, whose final performances will be premiered on Disney + Friday, contributed to their virtual performance “Tonight Show” of “Helpless” led by the Schuyler Sisters with the help of the star / creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and du ”Tonight, house group The Roots and Tony’s winner Daveed Diggs.
“Hamilton” was not the only meeting: Hugh Jackman brought together the original stars of the “X-Men” franchise after 20 years.
Now, you may be thinking that where there is Jackman, there will likely be sabotage by Ryan Reynolds. And you would be right. “Deadpool” star has looped younger members of the “X-Men” franchise like James McAvoy and Sophie Turner, who apologized, thinking that she had connected to a “Game of Thrones” meeting . ”
In a failed effort to keep her interested, Reynolds intervened: “You know, Tyrion Lannister was in an” X-Men “movie. “
They dedicated the video to “real superheroes who are fighting for a safer, healthier and fairer world”.
Billy Porter, who won a Tony for playing a drag queen in “Kinky Boots” and an Emmy for FX’s LGBTQ period drama “Pose”, talked about “what it is like to be outside in looking into it. As if I am only allowed to exist on the fringes of society. Yes, I remember that time. But I don’t live like that anymore. I refuse. From Miss Rosa Parks in Malcolm to Martin, to transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson, who boldly on the front lines at Stonewall in 1969. I will be forever grateful to those who fought to get us where we are today. And it’s up to us to keep fighting. “
He continued, “And now, in the summer of 2020, young activists have flooded the streets of the world to continue fighting for justice for blacks, for the LBGTQIA community. The world is changing before our eyes and it’s a beautiful thing to see. “
Supermodel-turned-actress Naomi Campbell explained how “COVID-19 exposed the inequalities of our broken social systems in our communities – especially the black community and our communities of color. She added, “We are in there for the long haul and moving to the other side will require a continuous and collective effort. There is no quick fix. But if each of us steps in to help our brothers and sisters, we will all be better off. ”
Politicians were well represented. In addition to Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have all talked about their efforts to stop the virus and help protect vulnerable populations.
“If and when an effective vaccine is found – wherever it is found, who finds it – then we, as world leaders, have a moral duty to ensure that it is truly accessible to all,” said Johnson, who has fought a serious COVID case himself. -19. “Because this pandemic threatens each of us. “
“Westworld” star Thandie Newton shared a documentary segment on finding a COVID-19 vaccine – and the possible challenges of distributing it in 190 countries around the world.
“We have to protect the groups most at risk like health care professionals or people with health conditions,” said Newton. “Or those in refugee camps around the world where more than 70 million displaced people are unable to distance themselves from society. “
In a documentary segment titled “How We Won Before”, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates explained how the world came together to eradicate polio.
“This is what we want to see here with COVID: the world is working together, helping each other, ending this disease,” he said.
Johnson came back towards the end, noting, “With all of our backs against the wall, an extraordinary silver lining emerged: global unity. The unit was formed in the face of a global health pandemic. Unity was born in the face of racial injustice. The events of 2020 have shed light on the way forward, revealing the incredible compassion and empathy that we are capable of achieving when we are united, active in the mission of normalizing equality. ”
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