Ben Affleck Does Congo Essay for 'Nightline'

Actor capitalizes on celebrity for humanitarian purposes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 26, 2008 12:33 PM CDT
The 35-year-old actor took a "Nightline" crew on his recent fact-finding mission to Africa.   (AP Photo/Max Culhane,ABC News)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – "Nightline" will focus on the humanitarian crisis in the Congo with the help of an unusual correspondent—Ben Affleck. The actor took a TV crew on his recent African mission to spread the word on a story little noticed in the United States, AP reports. His motive was to learn about the war and hunger that have killed thousands of people per month in the past decade.

Celebrity is “a currency.” Affleck said. “I’ve discovered that you can spend it in a lot of ways, or you can squander it." The show’s executive producer admitted to skepticism when approached by Affleck’s people. The idea was to present the story as a personal journey, following the actor as he met with survivors, relief officials, and even some warlords. His essay airs tonight on ABC.