The mounting death toll in the Philippines weighed heavily on the minds of George Clooney and Idris Elba, honored at the Britannia Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Clooney said he was following the news about Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines Friday. As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone from one of the worst storms ever recorded.
“It’s terrible,” said Clooney on the red carpet. “And it’s headed towards Vietnam and we’ll see what happens there. It’s a terrible disaster.”
The “Gravity” actor said he believes celebrities will rally in support of those affected by the typhoon, as they did for earthquake-ravaged Haiti and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
“We did the Golden Globes a week before we did the Haiti telethon and we were able to sort of rally some troops around and we’ll see what goes on from here and see what we’re able to do. It’s just happened a day ago so we’re figuring it out,” Clooney said.
The Academy Award winner added that while there is no way to know if global warming was responsible for the typhoon, denying the existence of climate change is “ridiculous.”
“Well it’s just a stupid argument,” Clooney told reporters. “If you have 99 percent of doctors who tell you ‘you are sick’ and 1 percent that says ‘you’re fine,’ you probably want to hang out with, check it up with the 99. You know what I mean? The idea that we ignore that we are in some way involved in climate change is ridiculous. What’s the worst thing that happens? We clean up the earth a little bit?”
Fellow honoree Elba echoed Clooney, calling on the “world community” to “pitch in” and “help as much as we can.”
“I’m so, so upset about what’s happened there. I mean it’s such a tragic tragedy,” Elba said. “My thoughts to all the people and people who have lost their homes and all the deaths.”