Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Monitor, WIRED’s entertainment news roundup. Once again, the coronavirus is dominating the conversation in the pop culture world. Who’s talking about it? Well, Elton John, J. K. Rowling, and Disney, for starters. Let’s get going.
Disney Is Donating 100,000 N95 Masks to Covid-19 Relief Efforts
Following the closures of its parks in the US due to coronavirus, Disney announced this week that it is donating 100,000 N95 masks to the states of New York, California, and Florida. The Mouse House is also donating 150,000 rain ponchos to the humanitarian organization MedShare in the hopes that they can protect clothing and prolong the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Relatedly, Bob Iger, the Disney CEO who recently stepped down, announced that he will be forgoing his salary amid the Covid-19 crisis.
J. K. Rowling Wants to Help Your Bored Kids Stuck at Home
If you have kids and you’re following stay-at-home orders, chances are you’re all struggling to stay entertained. There are online storytimes, online drawing classes, and homeschooling, sure, but those things only fill so many hours. For Potterheads looking for something else to do, J. K. Rowling is here to help. Harry Potter at Home is a new subsite of the Wizarding World online hub that’s full of puzzles, articles, quizzes, and other Potter pastimes designed to help cooped up kids. “Parents, teachers, and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic,” Rowling said in a tweet announcing the site.
Elton John Threw a Living Room Concert and Raised $8 Million for Covid-19
Last Sunday, Elton John hosted a “Living Room Concert for America”—a series of livestream performances from artists including Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, and Dave Grohl. The event, which aired on Fox and iHeartMedia, encouraged viewers to support Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation and ultimately ended up raising some $8 million for coronavirus relief. Not bad for a “living room concert” that looked like it was filmed in John’s kitchen.
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