Brad Pitt, Mikhail Gorbachev, And the Hurricane Katrina Eco-Homes Disaster

Essay by Eric Worrall

Who is going to pay? Hurricane Katrina victims are still suffering the consequences of Brad Pitt’s catastrophic attempt to turn the rebuild into a showpiece for eco-friendly construction.

Charity that agreed to bail out Brad Pitt’s foundation for $20.5million owed to Hurricane Katrina victims STILL hasn’t paid up after new homes backed by the actor fell into ruins

  • Global Green has been ordered to secure $10million in two months after it agreed to pay $20.5million in August 2022 to bail out Brad Pitt’s foundation
  • Pitt’s foundation Make It Right built more than 100 homes for Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans that were allegedly poorly built after falling into disrepair
  • Global Green agreed to pay for the repairs without having the money and blamed Pitt’s troubled past as reason why it struggled to come up with the sum 


PUBLISHED: 04:04 AEST, 14 April 2023 | UPDATED: 04:44 AEST, 14 April 2023

The nonprofit that bailed out Brad Pitt‘s foundation for more than $20million owed to Hurricane Katrina victims still hasn’t paid up after new homes backed by the actor fell into ruins. 

The 59-year-old actor’s organization Make It Right built more than 100 homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But the victims sued, alleging that the homes were poorly built after giving way to rot, mold and structural defects. 

Global Green, who previously worked with Pitt, agreed to pay $20.5million in an August 2022 settlement with the Bullet Train actor’s foundation. However, CEO Bill Bridges claimed the nonprofit was told it would not have to follow the tight 10-day deadline. 

When Global Green was unable to come up with funds, it attempted to back out of the agreement, blaming Pitt’s ex-wife Angelina Jolie‘s abuse lawsuit against him as reason why it was unable to raise funds. However, the company was unsuccessful and has been ordered to pay back $10million in two months and the other $10.5million will be re-evaluated. 

Global Green also faces a contempt hearing on October 2 after the judge lost confidence in the organization’s intervention, according to the Hollywood Reporter

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A key point to note, these eco-homes were subsidised, but they weren’t gifts. Poor people whose homes were devastated still had to borrow substantial sums of money and help pay for construction. But the price of accepting that charitable help, the homes apparently had to be eco-homes.

From Hollywood Reporter;

… “I just saw what needed to be done,” Pitt told Architectural Digest in 2009, two years after Make It Right began, “and I said, ‘Why not?’ ” Pitt, who broke ground on the project alongside former President Bill Clinton, enlisted a roster of Pritzker Prize-winning architects, including Frank Gehry, Shigeru Ban and Thom Mayne.

In time, though, Make It Right’s beneficence encountered stark reality, both for the new homeowners — these weren’t gifts; the residents had taken out mortgages — as well as for Pitt. “We went into it incredibly naive,” he explained to New Orleans paper The Times-Picayune in 2015. “Just thinking we can build homes — how hard is that? — and not understanding forgivable loan structures and family financial counseling and getting the rights to lots and HUD grants and so on and so forth. So it’s been a big learning curve.” …

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Perhaps if the focus had been on building good homes rather than building eco-friendly homes, Katrina victims who bought into the scheme would have had a happier outcome.

Where does Mikhail Gorbachev, the last dictator of the Soviet Union, fit into this mess?

Mikhail Gorbachev founded Green Cross International in 1993, and along with Diane Meyer-Simon went on to found the US affiliate, Global Green – the organisation which Hollywood Reporter claims faces a contempt of court hearing in October. Gorbachev was a busy man after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he worked hard to advance the green movement.

I hope Katrina victims find a speedy resolution, they have certainly been waiting long enough. Who knows, maybe the parent charity Gorbachev founded can help make good the Global Green shortfall, by locating some of the 2-3000 metric tons of gold which allegedly went missing in the wake of the Soviet collapse.

via Watts Up With That?

April 16, 2023 at 12:53PM

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