Review: ‘Dunki,’ starring Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal and Boman Irani

January 7, 2024

by Carla Hay

Anil Grover, Taapsee Pannu, Shah Rukh Khan, Vicky Kaushal and Vikram Kochhar in “Dunki” (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)


Directed by Rajkumar Hirani

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place from 1995 to 2020, in Asia and in Europe, the comedy/drama film “Dunki” features a predominantly Asian cast of characters (with some white people) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A group of friends from India have various experiences in their efforts to illegally immigrate to the United Kingdom.

Culture Audience: “Dunki” will appeal primarily to people who are fans the movie’s headliners and comedy/drama films that cover social issues in ways that are often awkward.

Boman Irani in “Dunki” (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)

“Dunki” clumsily mixes absurdist comedy with preachy drama in making statements about the dangers of undocumented immigration. Every time a serious life-threatening situation is depicted, the movie then throws in silly jokes for some cheap laughs. These awkward tonal shifts dilute the movie’s intentions more often than not, although the cast members try hard to keep a balance in this erratic film.

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani, “Dunki” has a title that refers to India’s Punjab term “donkey flight,” which is a way to illegally immigrate to other countries—usually Western countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Hirani co-wrote the “Dunki” screenplay with Abhijat Joshi and Kanika Dhillon. “Dunki,” whose story spans about 25 years, is about the shenanigans of a group of friends who go through various trials and tribulations as “dunki” immigrants who are desperate to move to London. None of the “Dunki” cast members gives a particularly impressive performance.

“Dunki” begins in 2020. Manu Randhawa (played by Taapsee Pannu), a woman in her 50s, is in a wheelchair at a London hospital. She bribes a hospital orderly to wheel her out of the hospital because she’s not supposed to be discharged from the hospital yet. As soon as Manu leaves the hospital, she gets out of the wheelchair and goes to the office of immigration attorney Puru Patel (played by Deven Bhojani), who knows her from interactions with her 25 years earlier in 1995.

Manu begs Puru to find a way to get a visa for her to go back to India (she’s a native of Punjab), but Puru says Manu is not allowed to go back to India. Puru tells Manu that Dubai is the nation closest to India where she can get a visa. Manu isn’t happy about these circumstances, but she accepts the visa to Dubai. It’s explained later in the movie why Manu was in a hospital and why she can’t go back to India.

When Manu is Puru’s office, she makes a phone call to Hardayal “Hardy” Singh Dhillon (played by Shah Rukh Khan), a man she fell in love with when she met him in 1995. Hardy is in Punjab, where he is in the middle of a foot race at a racing track when he gets the call from Manu. She jokingly refers to herself as Hardy’s wife and says she needs to tell him something important in person, but he has to meet her in Dubai, becase she can’t get a visa to go to India.

Hardy is curious and delighted to hear from Manu, so he agrees to Manu’s invitation to go to Dubai. Manu makes arrangements with Puru for her two longtime friends Balli Kakkad (played by Anil Grover) and Balindar “Buggu” Lakhanpal (played by Vikram Kochhar), who also live in London, to also get visas to Dubai, so that these two pals can accompany her on the trip. Balli and Buggu work together in a clothing shop called Punjab Tailors.

Before “Dunki” shows this trip toward the end of the movie, most of the film switches to a flashback to 1995. At the time, Manu, Balli and Buggu were all in their mid-20s, financially struggling, and yearning for a better life, which they believe they have a better chance of achieving in London. The problem is that their chances of being legally approved for a visa are very low because they are poor and uneducated.

Manu is an underappreciated cook and server at a local casual eatery, where her specialty is making parathas. She’s miserable in her job, mainly because her boss Bobby Dhaba (played by Piyush Raina) is an egotistical jerk. Balli is a barber who lacks confidence in a lot of areas in his life. Buggu is a sales clerk at a clothing shop, who is a “mama’s boy” at home. In the minds of all three friends, London is like a “promised land” where their dreams can be fulfilled.

Through a series of circumstances, the three friends end up in the office of Puru, who was based in India at the time. Puru is an attorney who uses shady business practices to exploit desperate people who want quick visas. He thinks up deceptive schemes for his clients to tell lies in order to get visas.

Puru says Balli can get a spouse visa by marrying a British citizen who’s a drug addict and willing to marry an immigrant stranger for money. Puru says Buggu can get a business visa, based on Buggu’s very limited business knowledge of working in retail. Puru says Manu can get a sports visa, even though she has no real athletic skills. Puru comes up with the idea to pretend that Manu is a track runner.

It just so happens that Manu meets Hardy around the same time she’s planning to get a visa under false pretenses. Hardy visits the home of Manu’s family, where she lives with her parents (played by Manoj Kant and Amardeep Jha) and other family members. Hardy has arrived in town because he was in combat with Manu’s older brother Mahinder (played by Suhail Zargar, shown in a flashback) and wants to return some items that belong to Mahinder.

However, Hardy is shocked and dismayed to find out that Mahinder died in a car accident and has left behind a widow and a son. Manu’s family has fallen on hard times in other ways. The family went into debt to a loan shark, who has now seized ownership of the family’s home.

The main reason why Manu wants to move to London is to make enough money to send back to her family so that they can buy back the family house. Manu tells Hardy all about this sob story, as well as the visa scheme to pretend that she’s a track runner. Hardy agrees to be her coach and then gets involved in the plans to immigrate to London with Manu, Balli and Buggu.

One of the more frustrating things about “Dunki” is that it’s a 161-minute movie that wastes a lot of screen time by cramming in a lot of subplots, some of which are abandoned for another distracting subplot. The subplot about Manu’s charade as an athlete is ditched for a fairly long stretch of the movie where Hardy, Manu, Balli and Buggu enroll in an English-language class, which is required for them to get their visas to the United Kingdom.

In this English-language class, they befriend a neurotic man named Sukhi (played by Vicky Kaushal), who wants to move to London to save his ex-girlfriend Jassi, who is married to an abusive man. The teacher of this English-language class is a pompous buffoon named Geetendar “Geetu” Gulati (played by Boman Irani), who treats his students in a very condescending manner. He also has contempt for his students, because he thinks that most of them are planning to do something illegal or dishonest to get visas.

The movie’s running joke for these classroom scenes is that Geetu is fixated on teaching the students how to say in English: “I want to use the lavatory.” This joke runs out of steam quickly, but it’s repeated to the point of annoyance in “Dunki.” However, a highlight of these classroom scenes is when Sukhi gives a very funny monologue to prove he’s learned a lot more English than Geetu thinks he has.

The sprawling and frequently disjointed story in “Dunki” shows the undocumented immigrant pals going to various countries in Asia and Europe in their quest to get to London. Along the way, a lot of dark and depressing things happen, such as suicide, murder, and the constant threat of being in violent danger during this journey. The movie also shows grim statistics and real news photos about deaths that can happen to people who immigrate to countries through illegal means.

“Dunki” is a very off-putting mess that goes back-and-forth between showing all of this harsh gloom and then switching to idiotic slapstick comedy in ridiculous scenarios. It diminishes the real-life immigrant suffering that the movie is trying to convey. At one point, the plight of refugees seeking asylum becomes a part of the story. And that’s when the movie really goes downhill and never recovers.

“Dunki” has lot of subtle and not-so-subtle preaching that visas are a form of class discrimination. However, this argument is very warped in the movie in how it tries to equate the living conditions that Hardy, Manu, Balli and Buggu want to leave in India to the living conditions of refugees who are fleeing their homelands because their lives are in danger. The fact of the matter is that Hardy, Manu, Balli and Buggu are not even close to being refugees who are fleeing from life-threatening danger in their homeland. The main motivation that Hardy, Manu, Balli and Buggu have to leave India and move to London is to make more money.

“Dunki” also wants to condemn the people who exploit desperate undocumented immigrants, but this condemnation is also mishandled by presenting all of these exploiters (such as a corrupt attorneys or human trafficking smugglers) as cartoonish characters. In “Dunki,” immigration officials are also caricatures, who are usually depicted as hateful bigots or completely incompetent. And ultimately, “Dunki” is insulting to the protagonists that the movie claims to be rooting for, by making these protagonists look very dimwitted.

The movie spends so much time not being able to make up its mind on whether to be a wacky misadventure or a cautionary tale, it treats the love story of Hardy and Manu almost like an afterthought. There isn’t much in “Dunki” to convince viewers that Hardy and Manu should be together, especially when they see each other in middle age and play immature and deceptive games with each other about their marital status. If you think that “Dunki” will be a clever satire of immigration problems, then look elsewhere, because “Dunki” is not that movie.

Yash Raj Films released “Dunki” in select U.S. cinemas on December 21, 2023, the same date that the movie was released in India.

Review: ‘Laal Singh Chaddha,’ starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan

August 13, 2022

by Carla Hay

Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan in “Laal Singh Chaddha” (Photo courtesy of Viacom18 Studios)

“Laal Singh Chaddha”

Directed by Advait Chandany

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in various cities in India, the dramatic film “Laal Singh Chaddha” (a remake of the Oscar-winning 1994 film “Forrest Gump”) features an all-Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: While in a train car filled with strangers, a simple-minded man tells them his life story of heartaches and triumphs. 

Culture Audience: “Laal Singh Chaddha” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the “Forrest Gump” movie and epic stories about underestimated people.

Aamir Khan (pictured standing, at right) in “Laal Singh Chaddha” (Photo courtesy of Viacom18 Studios)

It’s hard to go wrong with doing a faithful remake of the Oscar-winning 1994 drama “Forrest Gump,” which starred Tom Hanks in the title role as a lovable, simple-minded American with a generous spirit, unbreakable resilience, and extreme ups and downs in his life. However, “Laal Singh Chaddha,” the Indian version of “Forrest Gump,” is an underwhelming remake that has no real surprises, doesn’t take any creative risks, and drags on for far too long. The movie is a plodding 159 minutes but feels like longer. In comparison, “Forrest Gump” was 142 minutes, and the movie’s editing made better use of every single one of those minutes.

If viewers expect to get hokey and sentimental drama, then “Laal Singh Chaddha” delivers more than enough. But some of the film editing is so sloppy, parts of the movie abruptly shift to the next part of the story without much explanation. People who are unfamiliar with the “Forrest Gump” movie (directed by Robert Zemeckis) or Winston Groom’s 1986 “Forrest Gump” novel will probably be more charmed by “Laal Singh Chaddha” than people who know all about the “Forrest Gump” movie or book and will easily spot the areas where “Laal Singh Chaddha” is an inferior retelling of the “Forrest Gump” story.

Directed by Advait Chandan and written by Atul Kulkarni, “Laal Singh Chaddha” is such a trite imitation of the story and structure of the “Forrest Gump” movie (with a few minor changes), people familiar with the “Forrest Gump” will be waiting to see in “Laal Singh Chaddha” who will be the Indian version of Jenny Curran (Forrest Gump’s longtime love interest) and Forrest Gump’s Army buddies Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue and Lieutenant Dan Taylor. It can be quite a distraction, when at a certain point in “Laal Singh Chaddha,” you’ve figured out that it’s so much like “Forrest Gump,” you already know what’s going to happen and how the movie is going to end.

For anyone who needs an idea of how massive the “Forrest Gump” movie was, it grossed more than $678 million in ticket sales worldwide, which would be about $1.6 billion in 2022 money. “Forrest Gump” won six Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (for Hanks), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Visual Effects. The movie also spawned the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurants, which still exist. “Laal Singh Chaddha” might not get any accolades for originality, but the movie missed a lot of opportunities to be a milestone for Indian culture and Indian cinema.

Just like in “Forrest Gump,” a floating feather is used in “Laal Singh Chaddha” as a whimsical and cutesy sign to show there’s something quite magical about the titular protagonist’s life. He’s so saintly (except for when he gets violent to physically defend his soulmate), Laal Singh Chaddha (just like Forrest Gump) really is too good to be true. That might have been more acceptable for movie audiences in the 1990s, but not now. Anyone who could not stomach the schmaltz that “Forrest Gump” sometimes overloaded on viewers should not watch “Laal Singh Chaddha,” which pours on the tearjerking moments in bombastic ways that seem overly manipulative.

There’s also the issue of a non-disabled actor portraying a disabled person on screen. If not done in a convincing manner, it can verge on being an unflattering caricature. Aamir Khan’s portrayal of the adult Laal Singh Chaddha is not too offensive, but his wide-eyed reactions and constant grunting are absolutely irritating after a while. The movie could have made Laal more believable if it made him less of a parody of Forrest Gump and more like a relatable human being. Ahmad Ibn Umar, who plays Laal as a child, does a much better job than Khan at portraying a disabled person in more naturalistic way, but the childhood Laal is only in the first third of the movie.

At the beginning of the movie, Laal Singh Chaddha is a middle-aged passenger on a train, and he is eager to talk to anyone who will listen to him tell his life story. (In “Forrest Gump,” the title character’s storytelling takes place at a bus stop.) Laal strikes up a conversation with a woman who’s sitting directly across from him at his table in the train car. She seems more interested in looking at her phone and won’t take the hint that she’s not really interested in talking to him.

Laal keeps talking anyway. First, he compliments her on her shoes. And then, he wants to tell her why the shoes he’s wearing are dirty and worn-down. At this point, Laal launches into telling his life story, whether she wants to hear it or not. The woman becomes intrigued. And over time, more people in the train gather around him to hear Laal’s story.

“Laal Singh Chaddha” flashes back to 1983, to show Laal’s childhood, when he was about 8 or 9 years old. Just like in “Forrest Gump,” the protagonist is a “mama’s boy” raised by a loving and strong-willed single mother who has no first name in the movie. His father abandoned the family when he was a baby. This protagonist had to use leg braces as a child, had a low-testing IQ, and was discriminated against because of these disabilities. In “Laal Singh Chaddha,” Laal’s hometown is Karauli, India.

Laal’s determined mother (played by Mona Singh) begged the headmaster of a local primary school to let Laal be enrolled in the school. At first, the headmaster rejected her request and said that Laal belonged in a school for kids with disabilities. The headmaster agreed to the mother’s request after Laal’s mother offered to be the headmaster’s housecleaner in exchange for Laal’s enrollment in this school. It’s a more dignified way that the problem was solved, compared to how it was handled in “Forrest Gump,” where the desperate mother had sex with the headmaster/school principal in order to get Forrest enrolled in the school.

But life for Laal wasn’t easy at this school, where a group of boys mercilessly bullied him with violence and insults. One bright spot for Laal in school was a classmate named Rupa D’souza, who was the only student at the school to befriend Laal. Rupa and Laal became immediate best friends and spent as much time together as possible.

During one of these bullying incidents, when Laal was running away from his attackers, he ran so fast that his leg braces fell off, and he never had to use leg braces again. Laal’s talents for fast running and endurance running are major parts of the story when he’s an adult. And once again, if you saw “Forrest Gump,” you’ll know exactly what will happen in “Laal Singh Chaddha,” when it comes to the protagonist’s running.

Rupa could relate to Laal being in emotional pain, since her father was a violent alcoholic who physically and emotionally abused Rupa’s mother. Growing up with domestic violence affected Rupa’s self-esteem and probably led to her having dysfunctional relationships with men, ever since she became old enough to start dating. Rupa is also very insecure about growing up poor and vows never to be poor again. She tells Laal that her life goal is to become a rich and famous actress.

During the time that Rupa (played by Kareena Kapoor Khan, no relation to Aamir Khan) and Laal were teenagers, Laal developed romantic feelings for Rupa, but the romantic feelings were not mutual. Rupa puts Laal firmly in the “friend zone.” Laal becomes very protective of Rupa and envious of some of the suitors whom Rupa ends up dating. Expect to see Laal get in physical fights with a few of Rupa’s boyfriends because he thinks these boyfriends are mistreating or disrespecting Rupa.

Rupa and Laal attended the same university in Delhi. And what a coincidence: The same bullies from his primary school are also Laal’s classmates at the same university. These troublemakers attempt to harass Laal again, but Laal is now much wiser and more confident than he was as a child. He fights back, and evenutally the bullies back off and stop bothering Laal.

After being university students together, Laal and Rupa went their separate ways when Rupa moved away to pursue her acting career, and Laal joined the Indian Army. Laal can’t let go of Rupa from his romantic thoughts—so much so, he doesn’t date anyone else and spends all of his 20s and most of 30s being a virgin. It’s supposed to make Laal look more “innocent,” but it just makes him look obsessive that he’s fixated on Rupa as the only person he could possibly love in a romantic way.

While he’s in the Army, Laal ends up befriending two fellow soldiers who will change his life: optimistic Balaraju “Bala” Bodi (played by Naga Chaitanya) and cynical Mohammed Baaji (played by Manav Vij), who meets Laal after Mohammed has lost his legs during war combat. Bala is this movie’s version of Bubba in “Forrest Gump.” Bala is a happily married father whose family owns an undergarment business.

Bala considers himself to be an expert on men’s undergarments. And so, Bala eventually gets Laal to help him sell undergarments to fellow soldiers while they’re in the Army. The perpetually kind Laal becomes a super-prolific sewer, who makes all the garments, while Bala is the business wheeler dealer. The movie unrealistically makes Laal look like he has a lot of time to sew undergarments while he’s in the Army.

In “Laal Singh Chaddha,” selling undergarments becomes a business partnership for the protagonist and one of his Army friends. In “Forrest Gump,” the two Army buddiies team up to sell shrimp after they’re honorably discharged from the Army. After getting out of the Army, Laal becomes a one-man sewing factory for Bala until a certain part of the movie when more garment workers need to be hired.

Laal having a phenomenal productivity rate as an undergarment maker isn’t the only thing that looks phony. Bala essentially takes advantage of Laal by allowing Laal to be overworked, which makes their friendship in the movie look less-than-sincere from Bala. It’s a quite different tone than the very believable and pure friendship of Forrest and Bubba in “Forrest Gump.” If you saw “Forrest Gump,” then you will already know what will happen to Bala, Laal and their business partnership.

Mohammed is the Lieutenant Dan of “Laal Singh Chaddha.” His storyline plays out in the same way as Lieutenant Dan’s storyline in “Forrest Gump.” And so does Laal’s on-again/off-again relationship with Rupa. She gets sexually involved with a criminal overlord named Abbis Bhan, who is cruel and abusive to Rupa. She stays in this toxic relationship out of fear and because Abbis keeps promising to make her a Bollywood star. And you can easily guess who comes to Rupa’s rescue when things get dangerous.

There’s a part of “Forrest Gump” where people yell, “Run, Forrest, run!” because of his marathon activities. And it becomes an international catchphrase. That happens to Laal too in “Laal Singh Chaddha,” when people yell, “Run, Laal, run!” when he becomes a celebrity marathoner. The famous “Forrest Gump” line “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get” is reworked in “Laal Singh Chaddha” to this bland statement: “Life is like golgappas. You may have a tummyful, but your heart craves more.”

Except for the locations in India, golgappa references and the requisite musical numbers, there’s very little that “Laal Singh Chaddha” does to bring some Indian cinematic flair to this story. It’s obvious that enough money was spent to make “Laal Singh Chaddha” have professional-looking cinematography, production design and costume design befitting an epic saga. But somehow, the “Laal Singh Chaddha” filmmakers forgot that truly successful remakes are well-received by audiences when the remakes bring some very unique and innovative changes without losing the essence of what the story is trying to say.

“Laal Singh Chaddha” also has a very big, unexplained plot hole. It’s no secret that part of the movie’s plot is that Laal becomes very famous. But in this Internet age, no one on the train seems to recognize Laal until he starts telling his story. And even then, they act like they’re hearing his life story for the first time. It’s hard to believe all these people on the train are that unaware of Laal’s life, considering how famous Laal has become. By contrast, most of the story in “Forrest Gump” takes place long before the Internet existed and when it was much easier for famous people to travel incognito.

Speaking of Indian celebrities, entertainer Shah Rukh Khan has a cameo portraying himself as someone was inspired to learn certain dance, based on meeting Laal as a child and being amused by Laal’s awkward dancing. It’s borderline mocking of the disabled but doesn’t quite cross the line into insulting territory. Forrest Gump’s encounters with famous people were supposed to be comedic aspects of the movies, but the “Laal Sing Chaddha” movie’s attempts to do the same for Laal just end up fizzling and aren’t very amusing at all.

And to put it bluntly: The acting in “Laal Singh Chaddha” just isn’t as good as the acting is in “Forrest Gump.” As Rupa, Kareena Kapoor Khan just doesn’t have the type of emotional depth to the adult Rupa as Robin Wright did in portraying the “lost soul” Jenny character in “Forrest Gump.” Vij’s portrayal of Mohammed is not as compelling Gary Sinise’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of Lieutenant Dan.

Worst of all: Aamir Khan’s constant mugging for the camera is too blatant in trying to get viewers to feel a certain way, instead of doing a performance that looks natural and effortless. All of the tragedies in Laal’s life are depicted with soap-opera-level acting. And when a “Forrest Gump” remake has the lead actor trying too hard to look sympathetic, it looks very fake and doesn’t do the original classic movie any justice.

Viacom18 Studios released “Laal Singh Chaddha” in select U.S. cinemas and in India on August 11, 2022.


One World: Together at Home worldwide TV event honoring coronavirus health workers will include appearances by Elton John, Paul McCartney, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, Lizzo and more

April 6, 2020

Updated April 14, 2020

Lady Gaga (Photo by Erik Voake/Coachella)

The following is a press release from ABC:

Building on the success of the digital series “One World: Together at Home,” Global Citizen and the World Health Organization (WHO) are partnering for a special one-night event of the same name to air across NBC, ABC, CBS and other global networks and platforms on  Saturday, April 18, 2020 (8:00-10:00 p.m. PT/ET).

“One World: Together at Home” is not a telethon – but rather a global broad entertainment special to celebrate the heroic efforts of community health workers and support the World Health Organization and the global fight to end COVID-19. The event is curated by Lady Gaga and will feature exclusive appearances by Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder. Friends of Sesame Street will also be on hand to help unify and inspire people around the world.

The two-hour program will be hosted by a trio of network late-night hosts: Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert and will include performances from the world’s biggest artists with multimillion-dollar pledges to the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund. Audrey Morrissey (“The Voice,” “Songland”) and Live Animals will produce the special in partnership with Global Citizen.

The show will lift viewer’s spirits with exclusive, special cameos from the worlds of music and arts, sports superstars, and comedic sketches, while always drawing back to its core purpose – to educate and inform on COVID-19 risks, prevention and response. The broadcast will feature interviews with experts from WHO as well as stories of frontline healthcare workers from around the world – their courage and sacrifice a reminder of the urgency of this moment.

The special will connect artists with audiences on a global scale, airing on the following networks and platforms:

· NBCUniversal: NBC, Bravo, E!, MSNBC,, NBCSN, NBC News,, NBC News on YouTube, Peacock, SYFY and USA.

· Walt Disney Television: ABC, ABC News, ABC News Live, Freeform and Nat Geo.

· ViacomCBS: CBS, Channel 5 in the UK, Network 10 in Australia, and Telefe in Argentina; BET and MTV globally across 180+ countries; and CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land and VH1 in the U.S.

· Bell Media platforms in Canada, MultiChoice, and RTE.

· BBC One will broadcast an edited version of the event for UK audiences on Sunday, April 19.

“One World: Together At Home” will also be a multi-hour digital broadcast streaming online on multiple global platforms, including Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Hulu, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube. This digital special will include additional artists and performances from all over the globe as well as unique stories from the world’s healthcare heroes. For information about how to tune in and take action, visit

Commitments from supporters and corporate partners will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, powered by the UN Foundation, to support and equip healthcare workers around the world, and to local charities that provide food, shelter, and healthcare to those that need it most. These local groups have been vetted to ensure they are helping communities impacted by COVID-19.

April 14, 2020 UPDATE: International advocacy organization Global Citizen today announced an expanded list of artists that will appear in the “One World: Together at Home” global broadcast special, being held in support of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic being led by the World Health Organization.

The newly announced artists include Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Awkwafina, Camila Cabello, Celine Dion, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, LL COOL J, Lupita Nyong’o, Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, Usher and Victoria Beckham. Curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga, the artists announced today join a lineup of entertainers who were unveiled last week that includes Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder.

“One World: Together at Home” will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Jimmy Kimmel of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and Stephen Colbert of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Friends from Sesame Street will also be on hand to help unify and inspire people around the world to take meaningful actions that increase support for the global COVID-19 response.

Leading up to the global broadcast special, there will be a six-hour streamed event, curated from around the world, to support brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines. The “One World: Together at Home” streamed event will reach millions around the world digitally and will include performances and appearances from Adam Lambert, Andra Day, Angèle, Anitta, Annie Lennox, Becky G, Ben Platt, Billy Ray Cyrus, Black Coffee, Bridget Moynahan, Burna Boy, Cassper Nyovest, Charlie Puth, Christine and the Queens, Common, Connie Britton, Danai Gurira, Delta Goodrem, Don Cheadle, Eason Chan, Ellie Goulding, Erin Richards, FINNEAS, Heidi Klum, Hozier, Hussain Al Jasmi, Jack Black, Jacky Cheung, Jack Johnson, Jameela Jamil, James McAvoy, Jason Segel, Jennifer Hudson, Jess Glynne, Jessie J, Jessie Reyez, John Legend, Juanes, Kesha, Lady Antebellum, Lang Lang, Leslie Odom Jr., Lewis Hamilton, Liam Payne, Lili Reinhart, Lilly Singh, Lindsey Vonn, Lisa Mishra, Lola Lennox, Luis Fonsi, Maren Morris, Matt Bomer, Megan Rapinoe, Michael Bublé, Milky Chance, Naomi Osaka, Natti Natasha, Niall Horan, Nomzamo Mbatha, P.K. Subban, Picture This, Rita Ora, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sebastián Yatra, Sheryl Crow, Sho Madjozi, SOFI TUKKER, SuperM, The Killers, Tim Gunn, Vishal Mishra and Zucchero. The digital stream will be available on Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube.

As part of the “One World: Together at Home” campaign, brands including Analog Devices, Cisco, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, State Farm(R), Target, Teneo, Verizon, Vodafone and WW International, Inc. have supported the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO and regional charities that are working to meet immediate COVID-19-related needs locally.

“We are grateful to the private sector who have listened to the public’s call for action and come together to support the global response to COVID19. This pandemic is too large for governments to tackle alone,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “We are also incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make ‘One World: Together at Home’ a moment of global unity. Our hope for the special is that everyone will come away believing that we, as a shared humanity, can emerge from this moment forever grateful for the work of doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers and all those who are the backbone of our communities.”

“One World: Together at Home” will air on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT, appearing on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks, The CW, iHeartMedia and Bell Media networks and platforms in Canada. Internationally, BBC One will run the program on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Additional international broadcasters include AXS TV, beIN Media Group, MultiChoice Group and RTE. The digital stream will begin at 11:00 a.m. PDT/2:00 p.m. EDT and will inspire unity among all people who are affected by COVID-19.

At this critical moment in history, Global Citizen is also calling on individuals, governments and philanthropists to join and support immediate COVID-19 response efforts. Changemakers, investors and foundation leaders are being urged to actualize their giving and invest quickly in related efforts, like stronger health systems and vaccine development.

Last month in response to the global pandemic, Global Citizen launched an urgent campaign in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. Calling on individuals to take action and asking world leaders and corporations to support the response with sufficient resources, Global Citizens from over 150 countries around the world have taken hundreds of thousands of actions in support of the response fund. For information about how to tune in and take action, visit

For more information about Global Citizen and their campaign to support the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund, please visit and follow @GlblCtzn Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GlobalCitizen.

To learn more about WHO’s response to the pandemic and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, please go to and follow @WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.

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