Songs called for inspiration, empathy and perseverance on “One World: Together at Home,” the prime-time special produced by Global Citizen that was broadcast Saturday night on CBS, NBC and ABC and online. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, late-night representatives from each network, were the hosts, toggling awkwardly between deadpan comedy and earnestness. Lady Gaga helped select the musical lineup, which included Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, the Rolling Stones, Elton John and more — many more, since there was also a six-hour webcast before the televised broadcast.
Billed as a special to celebrate Covid-19 workers and to support the World Health Organization, the show was not a fund-raiser. Instead, it was a reminder of the medical, logistical and humanitarian efforts being made worldwide.
Global Citizen’s productions — it has presented annual all-star concerts in Central Park since 2012 — hammer home messages about worldwide predicaments and relief efforts between acts. “One World: Together at Home” was full of stay-inside advisories alongside tributes to and testimonials from health care workers, volunteer initiatives and international officials fighting the pandemic. It also extolled palliative efforts by corporations, and it urged viewers to pressure governments to provide far more extensive testing.