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Brad Pitt’s New Orleans Commitment

By Tom Watson on September 26, 20073 Comments

The first big celebrity siting (outside of George Soros) at the Clinton Global Initiative is Brad Pitt, who told a luncheon audience about his commitment to building housing in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth. Pitt’s sharkskin vest, two-day stubble, and blonde highlights contrasted sharply to, say, Al Gore’s gray suit – but he had a serious point to make.

"What should be made clear is that Katrina was a man-made disaster – and that climate change is certainly a man-made problem caused by decades of irresponsible planning," said the actor, who famously moved to New Orleans last year.

Pitt announced that he will partner with real-estate developer and philanthropist Steve Bing to create 150 low-price, sustainable homes as part of Pitt’s "Make it Right" project, and he asked CGI attendees to match his commitment of up to $10 million. A representative of the Virgin Group promptly pledged the first $100,000.

"I thought that maybe we could build a better home for these people, maybe we can bring intelligent design to New Orleans and please I don’t want any confusion, I’m not talking about creationism," he said.

The green blog TreeHugger has more on the commitment.

One further style point: when Pitt announced the commitment, there was silence. But he grinned his movie star grin and looked around the room. "C’mon a little applause," he urged. "I know … it’s cool."

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