Sandra Bullock Gives $1 Million to Japan Earthquake Victims

Sandra Bullock is the first star to donate a large sum of money since crisis.

March 18, 2011, 5:15 PM

March 18, 2011 — -- Sandra Bullock stepped up to do what no celebrity has done in the wake of the 9.0 earthquake that rocked Japan last week: she donated a significant sum of money to relief efforts.

On Thursday, the American Red Cross told ABC News that this week, the Oscar-winning "Blind Side" actress donated $1 million to those affected by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The Red Cross confirmed that Bullock's is the largest celebrity donation it has received since the disaster.

Bullock -- who reportedly made $56 million between June 2009 and June 2010 -- has shelled out for relief efforts in the past. She donated $1 million following Haiti's massive earthquake and has been a vocal proponent of rebuilding the areas of New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Teen star Demi Lovato, fresh out of rehab, made her own overture for Japan on Thursday. She was photographed in Los Angeles holding a Japanese flag with the words "Please Help" written in black pen. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Lovato also donated $1 million to relief efforts.

Many stars have used Twitter to encourage fans to donate to the Red Cross and other clean up organizations. Some have gone further. On Tuesday, "Saturday Night Live" alum Kevin Nealon hosted a benefit comedy show at Hollywood, Calif.'s Laugh Factory. All ticket sales, which amounted to $4,000, went to the Red Cross.

On his website, Charlie Sheen, the pop-culture sensation of the moment, announced that he will donate $1 from each ticket of his upcoming live show, "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option," to the Red Cross' fund for relief. Tickets to his Chicago and Detroit shows, which range from $35 to $75, reportedly sold out within minutes.

Last week, Lady Gaga announced she's selling a self-designed "We Pray for Japan" wristband on her website; all proceeds from the $5 band will go to Japan relief efforts.

Not every celebrity has taken a compassionate attitude towards the crisis.

Monday, comic Gilbert Gottfried lost his job as the voice of the Aflac duck after he tweeted, "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them" and "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now."

Gottfried later apologized for his joke. "I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan," he told The Hollywood Reporter, and his followers via posts on Twitter. "I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families."

The rapper 50 Cent also crossed the line online. Shortly after Friday's earthquake, with tsunami warnings still in effect, 50 (real name: Curtis Jackson) tweeted, "Wave will hit 8am them crazy white boys gonna try to go surfing." That afternoon, he added, "Look this is very serious people I had to evacuate all my hoe's from LA, Hawaii and Japan. I had to do it. Lol."

The rapper seemed to come to his senses minutes later, writing, "Nah this is nuts but what can anyone do about it. Let's pray for anyone who has lost someone." He then compared the natural disaster to a movie and said that "hate it or love it," "some of my tweets are ignorant I do it for shock value."

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck called the crisis a message from God.

"I'm not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes -- well I'm not not saying that either!" Beck said on his radio show Monday. "What God does is God's business, I have no idea. But I'll tell you this -- whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus, there's a message being sent. And that is, 'Hey you know that stuff we're doing? Not really working out real well. Maybe we should stop doing some of it.'"