By Daniel S Levine, 5/22/2013
Almost immediately after news about the Oklahoma tornado spread across the world, the hashtag #PrayersForOklahoma began trending. But British comedian Ricky Gervais, a noted atheist, suggested that his fans should actually do something instead of just sending out a tweet. He urged fans to make a donation to the American Red Cross.
According to The Wrap, Tuesday morning, Gervais replied to an MTV tweet about how Katy Perry, Rihanna and Beyonce had sent their thoughts and prayers on Twitter. “I feel like an idiot now,” The Office creator wrote. “I only sent money.”
Today, Gervais wrote to his 4.6 million followers, “Praying for something but not doing anything to make it happen has the same effect as writing to Santa & not letting mummy read the letter.” That tweet was retweeted over 4,100 times and favorited 2,000 times.
Then, he followed that up with “The best way to help the disaster victims is to donate athttp://redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999. #ActuallyDoSomethingForOklahoma.”
He also wrote that the Red Cross sent him a message that thanked him and his “lovely twonks for their overwhelming generosity.”
While Gervais has earned some praise for telling people to donate, the co-creator of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead, received harsh criticism for an insensitive tweet she sent out on Tuesday. According to Today.com, she wrote, “This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives.”
Winstead deleted the tweet and wrote, “Made a political joke, Twas before devastation revealed. In hindsight, had I understood, I would have refrained. Beyond sorry. #LetMeHaveIt.” She has since been retweeting relief efforts.