The World Health Organization, the United Nations Foundation and Chris Meledandri’s Illumination have partnered to launch a PSA that lends Despicable Me’s Gru — voiced by Steve Carell — and the Minions to reinforce safe and healthy practices during these challenging times. The PSA focuses on lifesaving behaviors to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, including physical distancing, being active at home and remaining kind to each other. This comes at a time when the Minions’ sponsoring studio Universal is figuring out ways to get pictures back into production and re-open its theme parks. The messaging is particularly important in that regard as the world begins to reopen.
“At this challenging time, we must find all ways possible to provide hope to people while sharing advice that can protect our health,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “WHO is excited to be working with Illumination and Steve Carell and the joys of the Minions and Gru to promote the importance of physical distancing, keeping active and connected, and being kind and compassionate to overcome COVID-19.”
The PSA is carried by the voice of Carell, and it’s being localized into multiple languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese and Arabic, among others.
“Storytelling is a powerful tool to accelerate positive social change in the world. It is an honor to partner with the WHO and UN Foundation to remind people around the globe to protect themselves, each other and our communities during this pandemic. I am also appreciative to Participant for helping to organize the collaboration and to my partners at Comcast/NBCU for helping to amplify this important message,” said Illumination Founder and CEO Meledandri.
Illumination is the first Hollywood Studio to partner with the World Health Organization, the UN Foundation and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of health promotion and protection efforts during the pandemic to create an entertaining and educational PSA for global audiences. Participant helped facilitate the collaboration between Illumination to the United Nations Foundation and the World Health Organization.
“As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of COVID-19, one of our most powerful weapons is kindness,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the United Nations Foundation. “We are delighted that the Despicable Me characters are letting their love show and showing ways to keep themselves and their communities safe during this unprecedented time.”
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