Russell Crowe sends fires climate message to Golden Globes

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Russell CroweImage source, Getty Images

Actor Russell Crowe has used his winner's speech at the Golden Globes to raise awareness of the deadly bushfire crisis in Australia.

"Make no mistake. The tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based," he said in a message read out on stage by show host Jennifer Aniston.

Crowe won the award for his portrayal of Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes in The Loudest Voice in the Room.

His comments join a wave of celebrity support for the fire response.

At least 24 people have died since the fires began in September.

The fires are a natural part of the Australian weather cycle, but have been worsened this year by hotter-than-average temperatures and a persistent drought in many areas.

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Crowe is one of thousands of Australian residents whose homes have been lost or damaged by the bushfires, which are affecting every state and territory.

"We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is," he said in his message.

Crowe was not at the Golden Globes ceremony in Hollywood - Aniston said he had stayed at home to protect his family.

He has been posting regularly on social media since the fires began, about the damage to his home but also encouraging donations to the largely volunteer fire services.

His latest video showed his Golden Globe alongside his firefighting equipment.

Media caption,

Australia's capital Canberra is engulfed in smoke

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who took home two award for her Fleabag series, said she would auction off her custom-made suit to raise funds.

Actress Cate Blanchett also paid tribute at the ceremony to the largely volunteer firefighting operation, saying: "When one country is facing a climate disaster, we are all facing a climate disaster."

And Joaquin Phoenix, who won best actor in a drama for The Joker, called on Hollywood to "get unified and make some changes" on climate change.

Sports and celebrity donations

The Golden Globe speeches are part of a surge of celebrity activism over the past week, as the scale of the crisis has become more known internationally.

Scores of actors, singers and sports stars - Australian or otherwise - have donated to help the victims of the fires or are encouraging others to do so.

Australian actress Margot Robbie shared an emotional appeal on Instagram on Monday showing pictures of her childhood to show "how beautiful our country is".

"It is so beautiful and it's really hurting right now," she said, while calling for her followers to give to various charities "to give future generations the kind of childhood I was so lucky to have".

Prominent Australian writers have also joined forces under the #AuthorsForFireys hashtag on Twitter, auctioning off personalised pieces of writing, workshops, illustrations or coaching in exchange for donations.

Image source, Getty Images

In the sports world, Australian cricket great Shane Warne is auctioning off his famous green Test cap to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

The highest bid is currently more than A$300,000 ($209,000; £160,000).

Several tennis players taking part in the Brisbane Open have said they will give sizeable donations - or in the case of Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty all her prize money if she wins.

Donations have also been pledged by Australian actress Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban, and by the singer Pink, who said on Saturday she was "totally devastated".

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Comedian Celeste Barber, who found fame through recreating celebrity Instagram pictures, launched an appeal through her account at the weekend which has already raised more than A$31m.

She shared an image of her mother-in-law's home, saying: "It's terrifying. They are scared."

Kim Kardashian-West, who has nearly 63 million followers on Twitter, tweeted a string of news articles about the fires on 3 January, followed by the message: "Climate change is real", while Selena Gomez, with more than 59 million followers on Twitter, also called for donations.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned that the fires could burn for months.