Bono on Oprah

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responsibility for accuracy of transcription

The Oprah Winfrey Show (4:00 PM ET) - BNO
September 20, 2002 Friday


HOST: Oprah Winfrey
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Dianne Atkinson Hudson

Announcer: Today...
OPRAH WINFREY: He gave me his glasses.
Announcer: ...U2's Bono.
WINFREY: Cooler than cool.
What makes you the most comfortable?
BONO: I'm feeling pretty good right now.
WINFREY: Smarter than smart.
BONO: America's more than just a country, it's an idea.
WINFREY: I love that. I'm want to cry right now.
Announcer: The rock star on a crusade to help save millions.
BONO: I'm just doing what everyone else would do if they had the time and the money.
Announcer: And the star of "Rush Hour," comedian Chris Tucker.
BONO: No one who--knew who the hell I was in Africa, but they knew who Chris Tucker was.
WINFREY: What was it like traveling with Bono, Mr. Rock Star?
Mr. CHRIS TUCKER: Bono is my buddy, man. I--I love Bono.
Announcer: Oprah, Bono.
WINFREY: I am blown away by this man.
Oh, how'd you get so lucky? Have a seat. He is a one-name rock legend known to millions of adoring fans, Bono. The lead
singer of the rock 'n' roll band U2 is here for the first time--I've never met him--and he may surprise you with what he has
to say. He's a rocker with a conscience.
(Excerpt from U2 music video)
WINFREY: He's known around the world as the charismatic singer of the band U2. Time magazine called him the world's
biggest rock star. And last year, Spin magazine named U2 band of the year. Out of a handful of elite, one-name superstars,
there's only one Bono.
(Excerpt from videotape)
(Footage of U2 performing)
WINFREY: As a teen-ager, Bono auditioned for a high school band in Dublin and he's been rocking non-stop ever since.
(Excerpt from Live Aid concert)
WINFREY: His electrifying performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert propelled the band into the international spotlight.
Two years later, U2 released the amazingly successful album "The Joshua Tree." It went platinum in just two days,
catapulting Bono to stratospheric stardom.
(Excerpt from U2 video)
WINFREY: Not only has U2's album sales continued to surpass the $100 million mark, but over two million people
attended their Elevation Tour last year, selling out more than 100 arenas worldwide.
(Footage of U2 performing)
WINFREY: Spin magazine raves U2 had one of the most successful tours in history. Through the years, the band has
taken home 14 Grammys, including record of the year for "Beautiful Day."
(Excerpt from U2 music video)
WINFREY: And this year, they won a Grammy for best rock album for their latest CD, "All That You Can't Leave
Behind." And music critics agree, Bono's passion is as strong as his voice. For more than two decades, U2's lyrics have
inspired spiritual growth and social change. In honor of his hero Martin Luther King Jr., Bono wrote their huge hit "Pride
(In The Name Of Love)."
(Footage of U2 performing)
WINFREY: And after September 11th, U2's music became a healing presence in the world. At this year's Super Bowl,
Bono captivated millions with his moving halftime performance saluting the thousands who were lost in the attacks.
(Footage of U2's Super Bowl performance)
WINFREY: Today, this international rock star-turned-rock 'n' roll activist mixes entertainment with politics and is on a
mission to help save millions.
(Footage of Bono in Africa)
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: Please welcome Bono! Ho!
BONO: ...(Unintelligible).
BONO: ...(Unintelligible).
WINFREY: Yes, yes, yes! It's an honor. Thank you.
BONO: Thank you. Thanks a lot. Wow!
WINFREY: It is really good to see you, finally--finally. You know, I heard--so we're in Chicago taping this, obviously,
and I heard that you went to the Rolling Stones concert last night and got up on stage and rocked the house?
BONO: Yeah. Well, you know, their singer obviously lacks a little self-confidence, but I think--I think they could go
very far, actually.
WINFREY: But what I've read and what I've heard is that you are unlike any other celebrity in that you don't try to
promote your celebridom.
BONO: Well, I'm at the capital of, you know, doing--this is not the right show to keep a secret, is it? I mean...
WINFREY: It is not.
BONO: But I thought if I--you know, if there's a reason for--if you want to speak to America, speak to Oprah.
WINFREY: I appreciate that. I think that we are now moving into an area in our own lives where we know that taking
care of other people is how we can best take care of ourselves.
BONO: Yeah. It's probably post-9/11.
BONO: It's just--there's a new mood in the world, I think. You know, people accused America of being a continent
behaving like an island. And I don't think that's fair. I think Americans really, really care about what's going on in the
rest of the world.
WINFREY: How did you--you know, we've done on this show over the years something called Use Your Life, and I
talk about using your life and we give out awards to people who use their lives. What happened that you decided that
being a rock star--because I'm telling you, being up on the stage and performing at the Super Bowl for 130 million
people, that's gotta be its own little high.
BONO: It's pretty...
WINFREY: I mean--and also in describing you--and I--in that tape, I was, like, listening to myself, like he's reached
stratospheric proportions. That's gotta be--What does that feel like?
BONO: Well, you know, I think--you--you know this more than anyone, but that, you know, celebrity is a bit silly...
BONO: ...but it is currency.
BONO: And you just want to--you want to spend it well, you know? And...
WINFREY: Yeah. My favorite quote on celebrity comes from John Updike, who says "Celebrity is a mask that eats
up the face"...
BONO: Oh, I like that quote.
WINFREY: ...which, if you're not--if you're not aware of it and conscious of it, it will eat up your face and your life.
BONO: That's it.
BONO: I just want to just do--I've got--you know, we've got a spotlight on us. You're doing incredible things in Africa,
and I have to talk to you about that. But, you know, I'm doing and I've--I--I'm just doing what everyone else would do
if they had the time and the money. You know, because people--U2 fans have given me a great life. I'm a spoiled rotten
rock star. My kids, they don't have to worry about where they're going to school or paying their medical bills. In
return--there's kind of deal, I think. One, don't bend over, and two, you know, use this spotlight to shine on--on--on
bigger problems that we--that they can...
WINFREY: Yeah. Use your life.
BONO: Yeah.
WINFREY: Well, Bono says that the true spirit behind his music and his mission in Africa was really greatly influenced
by his young days as a lad growing up in southern Ireland--as a lad. Take a look.
BONO: Oh, dear.
(Excerpt from videotape)
WINFREY: Before there was Bono, there was Paul David Hewson. He was the youngest of two boys raised by a
Protestant mother and Catholic father in Dublin, Ireland, a place where religion divided a country. Early on, Bono's
inspiration for dealing with Ireland's political problems came from his idol, Martin Luther King Jr., and other cultural
icons like Muhammad Ali and Bob Dylan.
Tragedy struck when Bono was just 14 years old. He suffered the devastating loss of his mother when she died suddenly
from an aneurysm at the funeral of her own father, and last year, Bono lost his father to cancer.
BONO: He had a good life, and I still think about him every day.
(Excerpt from U2 song)
WINFREY: A fortune teller once reportedly told his mother that she would have a famous son. That prediction came
true shortly after Bono joined a punk band in high school. They called themselves Feedback, but they would eventually
become the world-famous U2.
(Excerpt from U2 video)
BONO: We were just a bunch of kids really. We formed a band before we could play our instruments.
WINFREY: Bono also formed a lifelong relationship with his high school sweetheart, Allison Stewart. They married in
BONO: I'm lucky. I have an extraordinary friend that I've been married to for a long time, it seems like since we were kids.
WINFREY: Bono first got involved in Africa in 1985 when he and his wife worked for a month in the mountains of
Ethiopia. They took these dramatic pictures in the camp where he says every day they would wake up and count bodies
of dead and orphaned children. As the father of four, Bono says looking at his own children makes his mission to help
those suffering around the world the most important thing he can do.
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: You say that having a Protestant mother and a Catholic father in Ireland taught you many lessons?
BONO: Well, a few probably, but maybe, one, to be suspicious sometimes of religion, you know. I'm--I'm a believer, but
sometimes I think religion is the thing, you know, when--when God, like Elvis, has left the building, you get religion. But
when God is in the house, you get something else. And I'm happy in a Catholic cathedral or a tent show, you know,
down in--in--in the South, you know, and gospel music. I'm just--I'm as comfortable or uncomfortable in either of those
WINFREY: Really? And what makes you the most comfortable?
BONO: Well, I'm feeling pretty good right now.
WINFREY: That's good. That's good. That's good. When you're up on the stage, are you the most--does it feel like home
to you or is it another dimension?
BONO: Look, it's a strange thing to need 20,000 people screaming your name to--to feel normal, but that's probably the
truth. In an odd way, you know, I do feel completely myself when I'm in those--when--when I'm in the songs. I just--I
feel--it's like--it--it feels--it feels very easy for me to be in songs. A lot more difficult--other aspects of being a--a rock 'n'
roll star are a lot more difficult for me.
WINFREY: Like what?
BONO: Once--well, like--before, if--you'd see me throwing up in the dressing room before I came out here--I--I'm not
comfortable with a lot of the stuff, but--but...
WINFREY: Even after all this time?
BONO: Oh, yeah.
WINFREY: Really?
BONO: Oh, yeah. I--I--see, I'm kind of really part time on this, you know. I go home and live in Ireland. I live a kind of
fairly under-the-radar life in--in--in Ireland.
WINFREY: Because you can just pop into a pub and nobody--it's no big deal.
BONO: Well, yeah, depending on the pub. It's a--you know, in Ireland--in Ireland, people are a little--they have an
interesting attitude to success. They--they look down on it.
WINFREY: Really?
BONO: No, ho--honestly, I--I've--I've often told this, but it's like, you know, in America, you look up at the house on
the hill, the mansion on the hill and say, 'One day I'm--that--that could be me.' In Ireland, they look up at the mansion
hill and go, 'One day I'm gonna get that bastard.' You know?
WINFREY: OK. So when you go home, you're just dad--you're just dad and husband? You're just doing normal stuff like
regular people?
BONO: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, I'm a little eccentric in--in--in that department.
BONO: I've got four kids, and they're pretty...
WINFREY: You just had a baby again.
BONO: Yeah. Yeah, I've got a baby, John. But, you know, people think having children makes you, you know, kind of
a--well, they thought that would chill me out. Made me more angry, more pissed off.
WINFREY: It did?
BONO: Yes. Because you think about the world that they're inheriting and you think about the way things are, and it
makes me--makes me--it made me angry. I--I mean, I started to understand all kinds of things, why people fight wars.
WINFREY: Really?
BONO: I understood when a--when I saw my child being born, I just--you--you--you have a feeling that, you know,
you would do anything to protect that life and--it's a dangerous feeling that you have to--you have to--you have to
watch. But you can put it to use in terms of, you know, just getting politically active and not lying down. I think that's
the message that your show puts out, that we--we most view--your viewers most respect: Don't like down. Get up.
You can fight against what's coming at you. You know, you can be on top of your life.
WINFREY: Well, we're gonna come back and talk about that a lot. Coming up, how Bono is trying to lift what he calls a
death sentence for millions of people. A lot of you might not even be aware of this. Also ahead, actor/comedian Chris
Tucker is going to explain why just a week with Bono in Africa was life-altering for him. Wouldn't you want to be on
that trip? Chris Tucker, Bono, Africa. More with Bono when we come back.
(Footage of U2 performing)
(Excerpt from U2 music video)
WINFREY: And Bono is here. He's from the legendary rock band U2, of course. Bono says being a rock star is just a
part-time job for him because what he wants to do is to use his life, to really turn his celebrity into something more
serious. Let's look at that.
(Excerpt from videotape)
WINFREY: Bono is more than just a mega-rock star selling out stadiums worldwide. He's a rocker with a conscience.
His goal: to cancel multimillion-dollar debts owed by poor countries so they can focus on their own health care and
education. Bono has become the most well-respected rock 'n' roll ambassador of the world. From presidents to prime
ministers and even the pope, he has impressed top leaders with his genuine concern for world problems. Even the most
reluctant politicians met with the Irish rocker and many of them had never even heard of him. Bono moves easily
between sold-out rock concerts and political power meetings. Earlier this year he attended the World Economic Forum
with Bill Gates, and just days later he hit the stage at the Super Bowl for a TV audience of 130 million.
BONO: Bye.
Mr. TUCKER: See you later.
BONO: Bye.
WINFREY: Bono's efforts to help poor nations was highly publicized this spring when he toured Africa with US
Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill.
BONO: For 7 cents out of $10, you can change millions of lives. That's what it would take a year to transform the world
that we live in.
Secretary PAUL O'NEILL (US Department of the Treasury): We've spent trillions of dollars on these problems and we
have damn near nothing to show for it.
WINFREY: Despite some differences of opinion on their trip, the two shared a passion for their mission to help struggling
African countries. Bono continues his crusade to bring an end to the crisis of poverty, AIDS and foreign debt in Africa.
He hopes the United States and other wealthy nations will stop and listen.
BONO: (Singing) 'Cause we still haven't found what we're looking for.
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: Well, since Bono began talking to the White House about debt, President Bush signed a bill promising to give
$5 billion a year in aid to poor countries. But the bill still has to pass through Congress.
Did you think that was progress, though?
BONO: Oh, yeah, I think we are making progress. I mean, right across, you know, both sides of the aisle, there's--there's
people who are actually waking up that--that this is actually an issue that might--that--that is not just--has a moral force,
but is actually--it's just--it's--it's also the right, you know, smart thing to do. I mean, Afghanistan, as an example, you
know, there's probably another 10 Afghanistans in Africa if we let that--that continent go.
WINFREY: So what was it about Africa that grabbed your passion that you decided, 'I'm going to now not be silent
about it'?
BONO: Well, I don't know. I mean, I--Irish people probably, we have a history of famine ourself. I mean, in the middle
of the 19th century the population of Ireland was halved from eight to four and, you know, two million people died and
two million became policemen in New York City. But, you know, it's--so it's whatever--the thing is--if there's such a
thing as folk memory, I think we have it on us. But also I worked there. After Live Aid--you remember the "We Are The
World" thing, all that?
WINFREY: Right. Yeah. Yeah.
BONO: I went there to just work with my wife, Ali, and we went, we spent a month there. And...
WINFREY: In Ethiopia.
BONO: In Ethiopia, right in the sort of--right there in--in--in the middle of the famine. And I just--I saw stuff there that
kind of certainly reorganized the way I saw the world, and I didn't know quite what to do about it. And, you know, you
can throw pennies at the problem.
BONO: But at a certain point, I just felt, you know, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action. And--and
there's a--you know, there's problems--you can't fix every problem, but the ones that you can, we've got to. There's
people--two and a half million people are going to die of AIDS next year. We have the drugs. And I want to say, 'Look,
these are in Europe or America.' These are--these drugs--see them as advertisements for American innovation and
technology. And if you get those drugs to the poor places and you save lives, I think you're gonna make it a lot more
difficult for extremist groups to whisper, you know, evil-minded ideas about America.
WINFREY: OK, so that's a start, but--OK, so I'm watching at home right now. We have an audience, say, t--w--10 million
people watching now.
BONO: Wow! Hi.
WINFREY: A lot of--Hi, everybody.
BONO: Bono.
WINFREY: A lot of--a lot--a lot of them are women at home with their own children, worried about them coming home,
their husband coming home for dinner. What does this have to do with her life?
BONO: Wow. See, there's the country of America...
BONO: ...which you have to defend.
BONO: But there's also the idea of America. America's more than just a country. It's an idea, OK? That's why...
WINFREY: I love that. I want to cry right now. I do. I love that.
BONO: I mean--no, I'm a fan.
BONO: You know, I'm a fan of--I--Irish love--love America. It's not just because it's, you know, land of the opportunity,
it's because it's an idea, an idea that's supposed to be contagious. And--and I just--you know, there was--there was two
shocks in--in the week of--of 9/11. Of course there was the attack on America and the shocking loss of life. But the second
one hasn't been talked about as much, but I think it was very important for America. And that was watching people
jumping up and down in Jakarta and Jalalabad, around the world, celebrating as the twin towers turned to dust. And I
think Americans just went, 'Stop right there. How did that happen to us? We liberated Europe in the Second World War.
This is America. You know, are--we--you know, the--we're--we're--we're not--how did this happen to us?'
WINFREY: Yeah, I know. That was the question. I even did that show. People wanted to know, why do they hate us
so much?
BONO: Well, because we--we have--and it's true in Europe as well--we've made it easy--we've made it easy for people.
You know, as wealthy as we've gotten over the last 20 years, unimaginable wealth in the West, we're giving less and less.
Did you know that? People don't know that. People don't know that. You know, recent poll, they asked, you know,
Americans, 'How much do you think you're giving to the--you know, the poorest of the poor?' They said, 'Oh, maybe
10 percent, between 10 percent and 20 percent of the, like, GDP.'
BONO: You want to know how much it is?
BONO: It's .1 of a percent.
WINFREY: Really?
BONO: OK? And Americans--or as you said and we said earlier, this is--this is a generous place. The only reason that
Americans are not--are not leading the world in this is because the politicians don't think there's a vote here, and they're
WINFREY: Yeah. Right.
BONO: They're wrong. But to--you know, just to answer your question about, what does it mean?
WINFREY: Yeah. What does it mean?
BONO: See, I--I--a mother--you don't have to explain to a mother that the--the life of a child in Africa has the same
value as her child. You don't have to explain that. You might have to explain--you might have to explain, you know,
people who come to--you know, people who buy CDs. You might have to explain to--you know, to--to men, but not
to women. This is the right show to say that.
WINFREY: That is good. So as I mentioned--Bobby Shriver had mentioned this to me a c--a year or so ago. Explain the
drop--the debt idea.
BONO: Oh, it was a great idea. Look, there was the millennium, all right? It was going off.
BONO: OK? Everyone wants to throw a big party, OK?
WINFREY: Correct.
BONO: I like parties.
WINFREY: Yeah. I do.
BONO: But no one quite knew, you know...
WINFREY: What to do.
BONO:, what to do. So I--I went to Bill Clinton and I said, 'Look, there's this idea going around which is, you know,
make this the opportunity to cancel all the old debts,' because a lot of these countries, you know, the poorest of the poor,
they're paying, like, ridiculous sums to us every week.
BONO: I mean, we were involved in Live Aid.
WINFREY: Live Aid, yeah.
BONO: We raised $200 million. Wow! We thought we cracked it. Africa's paying $200 million a week to the richest
countries in the world, you know, in Europe and in America. We said, 'Well, you know what? Let's make this a chance--let's
stop that and let's start again. Let's begin again.' And--and so we made progress with that. And actually, you know, Bush
and Clinton came together on that one, and this is a thing that we've got to make above politics.
WINFREY: But I think Americans would say, 'But at what cost to us?' We drop their debt, then what?
BONO: Well, you know, we don't--first of all, here's the way to make--make it work. We've got to be tough-minded about
this. Let's not--I'm not a winging liberal, by the way. I'm no hippie with flowers in my hair. I come from punk rock.
BONO: We--Got it? OK?
WINFREY: I got that, I got that, I got that.
BONO: OK? So, you know, I've got an organization s--that--we're involved in called DATA.
BONO: OK. And it's debt, AIDS, trade. That's the big issues facing Africa. But in return--the acronym works both ways--
in return for democracy, accountability, transparency--if these African countries are corrupt, if they won't play ball, they're
not getting these breaks.
WINFREY: Debt, aid, trade. That's it.
BONO: Yes. They're not getting these breaks. So it's tough. So what you're saying is, you know, where there's a new
democracy coming in, there's good government and, you know--and they're open to civil society, then we say, 'OK, now
we'll cancel your debts.' OK.
WINFREY: One of the things--one of the things I've heard you say is that this generation's gonna remember--be remembered
for the Internet...
BONO: That's right.
WINFREY: ...the war on terror and?
BONO: And how we let an entire continent, Africa, burst into flames while we stood around with watering cans, or not.
And I think it's exciting to be part of a generation that actually says, no, now in--with--the world is a smaller place, distance
cannot decide who is our neighbor to love. You know, love thy neighbor. It's not about distance anymore. And we can't
afford not to. The world is too close, but there--the fires that start in--in Afghanistan, they reach our door.
WINFREY: Yeah. Don't we know now.
WINFREY: Don't we know now.
Coming up, actor/comedian Chris Tucker traveled with Bono to Africa. In fact, Bono says Chris was really the rock star
on that trip. Everybody knew him.
BONO: Sure.
WINFREY: And we'll talk to Chris Tucker when we come back. We'll be right back.
(Excerpt from U2 music video)
WINFREY: Rock 'n' roll star Bono is here. The entertainer-turned-activist is on a mission to bring attention to the millions
of people needlessly dying right now in Africa. And Bono said in a recent interview that 'It's an everyday holocaust. We
must always remind ourselves of the situation in Africa because I think history and indeed God will judge very harshly if
we continue to ignore it.' Bono says that one of the most profound moments on the trip for him was a visit to an
orphanage in Ethiopia, where he met Sister Benedicta. MTV filmed the visit for a new documentary called "The Diary of
Bono and Chris Tucker: Aiding Africa," which airs October 9th on MTV. Watch this.
(Excerpt from videotape)
BONO: When I was a kid or something, I remember seeing movies about nuns, but I've never seen anything like Sister
Benedicta. You wouldn't believe that you could find a, I mean, beautiful person.
Sec. O'NEILL: Sister, thank you very much for letting us come and visit your house and see your work and--and see the
BONO: In the end, rock stars, film stars, hip-hop stars--I mean, we're just getting paid, you know, to do what we love.
You know, we're not heroes. These people are heroes.
Group of Children: (Singing) (Foreign language spoken)
Sister BENEDICTA (Missionaries of Charity): The children whom you see here, they are all abandoned children, as I
said. What we do here in our work is we take care of these children. We help them to grow up and to become very mature
and joyful people, people who are able to give love, in turn, to others. And we have very well and very good experiences.
In this sense, these children are very mature.
BONO: That place--how lucky we were to be let in to see these people in their frailty. And I'll tell you this: The only
excuse is that we were going to try and change their lives for the better. And if we fail to do that, then we--we have really
let Sister Benedicta down and we've been a tourist in these people's tragedies.
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: I think you're right. I'm going over to Africa this Christmas to orphanages and just had a team of mine go over
and bring back tape. And I say now that we have seen it, to do nothing means that you have been a witness to the atrocity.
Now that you have seen it, you have to do something to change it.
BONO: The--the congressman, Lantos, I met who was telling me, you know, he was--he was in Auschwitz.
BONO: He was a prisoner in Auschwitz. And he said the thing they couldn't believe was that people watched them being
put on the trains, and right now that's what's going on. We're watching people be put on the trains. We have the drugs.
We have the know-how. We're watching them be put on the trains. And I don't want--you know, I remember asking my
grandad, 'How did all that stuff happen on the Second World War, the Jews and all this?' Well, I don't want my kids
asking me, 'How did you let 25 million Africans die for the stupidest of reasons, money?' Same thing.
WINFREY: I never heard that analogy before. We're watching the people being put on the trains. Well, you were saying--
I--I think what is--what is so striking is when you go into these orphanages and you see the children, in spite of the
despair, a lot of them seem very happy.
BONO: Yeah, that's the other thing you've got to remember in Africa, because Africa is a sexy place. I mean, in terms
of--the c--the continent is a beautiful place. The people, like you're looking at Ethiopians there, they're so royal, you
BONO: On every street corner you're seeing Bob Marley. That's what it looked like to me. And--and--and I just--I think
it's really important to remember that.
Chris Tucker ascended to Hollywood's A-list with his hit movies "Rush Hour" and "Rush Hour 2." Last spring, Chris
spent time with Bono--and there's Chris spending time...
BONO: Now he can dance right there.
WINFREY: ...and--and Secretary O'Neill on their trip to Africa. Chris joins us via satellite from Washington, DC, where
he's shooting a new film.
How are you, Chris?
Mr. TUCKER: Hey, Oprah. How you doing?
WINFREY: So what was that trip like for you with Bono and the secretary?
Mr. TUCKER: Well, I've been to Africa several--several times I've been to Africa, but never like this. On this trip, I
got to see--you know, got to meet the people at--went into the villages. I went to talk with people, went to hospitals
and stuff. So it was like I got--it was full of--it was like going to Africa for the first time. I got in touch with the people,
and I really just--you know, I just fell in love even more.
WINFREY: What kind of perspective did it give you as a, you know, star who's driving around in limousines and big cars
and--has a--you know, you have a whole 'nother reality here in the United States. So what kind of perspective did that
bring to your life?
Mr. TUCKER: It just took me back to reality saying, man, you know, we need to do--we need to do more to help the
world, you know, and that'll even bless us more.
WINFREY: So what was it like traveling with Bono, Mr. Rock Star?
Mr. TUCKER: I--I love him, man. He's just so brilliant, smart. And he's just a great guy, a really good guy.
WINFREY: OK. We need to take a break. And we'll continue with Chris Tucker and Bono, and hear the story of an
African woman who had a big impact on both of them, when we come back.
WINFREY: Chris, Bono and two college students who traveled with them last spring met a 30-year-old African woman
named Eleanor. Look at her story. Look at this.
(Excerpt from videotape)
Unidentified Man: Eleanor has HIV. She's a single parent raising Mabel and Mabel's two sisters.
Well, what do you do to be healthy? Like, how do you keep yourself healthy?
Ms. HEATHER TATARSKI (College Student): We all just sat around this coffee table and discussed what it's like to
be HIV positive for Eleanor.
ELEANOR: I've got a problem of headaches and a skin rash all over my body.
BONO: Almost as bad as the disease itself is the stigmatization that goes on around AIDS.
Mr. TUCKER: People changed around her when they found out she was HIV positive.
ELEANOR: They don't want to share with me plates, cups. They ignore us. They ignore me. That hurts me very much
and it makes me sick.
BONO: People are just terrified to find out if they're HIV positive, and then if they find out they have it, they're not
gonna be able to get access to the drugs.
Are you on the drugs to keep you healthy?
ELEANOR: I haven't started the drugs because they are very expensive.
BONO: She's got a death sentence on her head.
We're here because we want to get the message back to the United States, to where I come from in Europe, that it's not
acceptable that your mother doesn't have access to the drugs that can keep her alive to see your kids. We don't think
that's acceptable.
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: I think what people don't realize--I think we in America don't realize that what's going on in Africa now,
you're missing--you're gonna miss a whole middle generation. So you're gonna have young people and very old people...
BONO: That's it.
WINFREY: ...because everybody in that middle age range is dying.
BONO: Yeah, they're gone.
WINFREY: They're going.
BONO: You go to--you go to parts where, you know, a third of the people in a city...
WINFREY: Are dead.
BONO: ...have a death sentence on their head.
BONO: Just imagine you're going to the market or you're hanging out in the mall and a third of the people in the mall
are gonna die. Imag--just--you know, it's--it's important to...
WINFREY: And you were saying while--while--while that tape was running, though, that's why it was so important
to have Chris there because--because the ostracization.
BONO: Yeah, because, you know, people like Chris--he went and he spoke in schools and said--you know, he was
telling, you know, young women, 'You don't have to have sex if you don't want to.' He was telling men, you know,
'Come out--if you're worried about, you know--that you might have HIV, get tested.' And because he says it, people
are listening. People look--look up to him. They know who he is, as a lot of American stars that have real weight in--
in Africa, and--and I think we've got to--we've got--we've got to be grateful for that.
WINFREY: Well, Chris is...
Mr. TUCKER: Oprah, I want to say one thing. I--I just want to say how--you know, we--we always talk about the
bad stuff about Africa, but Africa's one of the most beautiful places on Earth. When I went out there with Secretary--
with Secretary Colin Powell, I stayed out in Gabon, a country that's out--it's right on the coast of Africa. And the
people are so beautiful, the people are so nice. Everywhere in Africa is beautiful. Capetown is beautiful. It's just a
beautiful, beautiful place and people should go visit.
WINFREY: So you--you just named-dropped there a minute. You were hanging out with Secretary Colin Powell. You're
hanging out with him why?
Mr. TUCKER: Well, I went out there to--you know, because I'm--I'm doing my movie and I'm playing the president of
the United States. And I went out there to sort of, you know, get in his ear, talk to him...
WINFREY: You're playing the first black president of the United States.
Mr. TUCKER: Yeah, yeah.
WINFREY: That should be pretty funny with you as the first black president of the United States.
Mr. TUCKER: Yeah, yeah. So, you know, I went out there with him. But it was kind of--you know, I--it was kind of
scary because this is like traveling with your daddy because you don't want to make him--it was like, 'Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
All right. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.' He'd come out--you know how he moves his head? He was like, 'Chris Tucker, are you all
right? Everything OK?"Yes, sir.' Because I thought, you know, if I do something wrong, they'll throw me off the plane,
'Get him off the plane. Get him off the plane. Security breach. Get him off the plane.' So it was--it was kind of--and the
same thing with the treasurer. I was like--you know, I was asking him for money, 'You got all that money, man. Loan
me some money.'
WINFREY: Thank you, Chris Tucker. Thanks.
Mr. TUCKER: Thanks.
WINFREY: Coming up, we'll talk to the secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill, Bono's unlikely travel companion in
Africa. The press referred to them as "The Odd Couple."
Thanks, Chris. Look forward to the movie.
We'll be right back.
(Footage of U2 performing)
(Excerpt from videotape)
BONO: Why I like him is he's annoyed, I think, by--by...
Sec. O'NEILL: He's angry, actually.
BONO: He's--he--he's--he's getting angrier by the day as he sees the great potential of this continent and how it's not
being used. Is that fair?
Sec. O'NEILL: That's fair.
BONO: That's fair.
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: That was rock star Bono and the secretary of the Treasury, Paul O'Neill, who traveled to Africa in May.
Bono was trying to show Secretary O'Neill that Africa can and does put aid money to good use. Throughout the trip,
they disagreed a lot on key issues, but in the end they both say that they're working toward the same goal. The secretary
joins us via satellite from Hartford, Connecticut.
Welcome, Secretary O'Neill.
Sec. O'NEILL: Thank you for having me.
WINFREY: Thank you for joining us. What did you think when Bono first walked in your office? Did you know who
he was?
Sec. O'NEILL: Well, I knew who he was and I knew a little bit about his music, but the truth is, when my staff suggested
that he should come and see me, I said, 'No, no, he just wants to use me,' and so I put him off for a while. Then I let him
come in for 15 minutes, and in 15 minutes, he convinced me he was real. And so I asked him...
WINFREY: I heard that 15 minutes went into 90 minutes, did it not?
Sec. O'NEILL: That's right.
WINFREY: Because he doesn't know how to leave once he gets in the door. Yeah. Yeah. What do you think of this idea
of the US and other nations relieving the debt of poor countries, especially in Africa now? Did--did you move on your
Sec. O'NEILL: Well, you know, I--I felt for a long time that we in the developed world and--and people who are
supposed to be leaders need to be a lot more impatient about the deprivation that so many hundreds of millions of people
live in around the world. And President Bush and I are dedicated to the proposition that we're going to finally get real
results in the lives of people who have nothing. The president's asked for an additional $5 billion to work on this problem,
and I'm convinced, as you and Bono were saying, that we can demonstrate we can produce real results, which means clean
water for every human being...
Sec. O'NEILL: ...a primary education for every human being, dealing with the problems of HIV/AIDS, the American
people are very generous people and they will respond to the opportunity to help other people have a life that gives
some fulfillment instead of one that's hopeless.
WINFREY: So are you saying you're gonna give up the money?
Sec. O'NEILL: We're going--we're going to produce results, and we're--not only are we going to provide more money,
we're going to induce the rest of the world to insist on getting results. And Bono's gonna help us do it.
WINFREY: And are there ways we can do it to be more effective? Because I, you know, heard you say, and one of the
things that I think you, you know, made very clear is that you think a lot--and obviously a lot of money has been spent,
and we have given a lot of money in aid and--and haven't seen the results that we might have wanted to have seen. So
how do we make that more effective?
Sec. O'NEILL: Well, I tell you, I think we have to be very insistent that the people who are supposed to be leaders of
their country ensure the rule of law, ensure enforceable contracts, provide a primary education and water to their people,
and then...
WINFREY: I know. I think you can't say--you can't say water enough, because I--I've often said this on the show. It's
the thing that we in this country take the most for granted. What people have to do to get water in other parts of the
world, and especially in Africa, carrying water on their heads for miles, to--not to have access to water.
BONO: See, it's a gender issue. I think th--that's something the secretary pointed out to me. And--and he said, you
know, 'Watch, it's the women that are carrying the water.'
WINFREY: The water, right.
BONO: It's taboo.
BONO: So the women are spending--they're walking sometimes 10 miles a day to bring water. So if the--Secretary
O'Neill and President Bush and--and Condoleezza Rice and the United States Congress, the people, Democrats, Dick
Durbin here in Chicago, Leahy--Pat Leahy--incredible man--if everyone gets together, this idea of bringing water...
BONO: Africa, it is not far-fetched. It's possible and we can do it right now. And I--I tell you, it will be--it will
revolutionize that continent.
WINFREY: I've got to ask you--I mean, you--you look like a pretty s--buttoned-up kind of secretary. So was--was
this a kick for you traveling with Bono?
Sec. O'NEILL: It was a--it was really a great treat to travel with someone who cares as deeply as he does and to use his
celebrity to show the world problems that everyone should be aware of so we can work on them more diligently.
WINFREY: Thank you, Secretary O'Neill.
Sec. O'NEILL: My pleasure. Thank you.
WINFREY: We'll be right back.
WINFREY: What were you just saying about American people and...
BONO: Oh, I was just saying, you know, like we have, you know, Paul O'Neill, great man, and great man to hang out
with, believe it or not, as buttoned up as he is. But he's Mr. Money Bags, but he can't do anything unless the American
people give him permission to spend that money. That is honestly why I'm on the program, because I know, you
know, you've got the budget, you've got the deficit, you've got all these elections, people are worrying about their
mortgage. You have to send them the message that this is important to you, this is the idea of America.
WINFREY: I love that. I love that when you said that. I got goose bumps. But also I think what you said earlier about--
I think once you have seen it, once you've been exposed to it--now before you saw this show, you could say, 'I didn't
know that existed,' or, 'I didn't know that was happening.' But now once you have heard it and you've been exposed to
it, it is like watching the people get on the train.
BONO: Y--yeah. But I'm--I'm not--I'm not even--we're not even asking, believe it or not, for your money. We're asking
for your involvement. You know, in a way, you've already--you've given the money to the United States government.
We're asking for a tiny, tiny, tiny percentage of that to save two--to save all those million lives. It's about the price for
every American of taking your girlfriend to the movies. It's about $10. That's probably what it is. And you can change
the lives. What a privilege to be in that situation.
And if America leads, we can beat the rest of the world up on this. Believe me, we will be such a pain in the ass in
England, in France, in Germany. At the moment, you see, they're waiting because, you know--people say, 'Well, the
United States, we're fighting the war. It's expensive,' and all the rest of it. We won't have to fight as many wars if we
get this one right, I promise.
WINFREY: That's what we've got to get people to hear.
We'll be right back.
WINFREY: You know what? I'm already planning to go to Africa to do some work there. I'm building schools there.
But I'm even more inspired by you. I'm just insp--I'm charged by you.
BONO: Oh, thank you.
WINFREY: Yes, by you. By you. Thank you. Thank you. We'll do more. Bono, Chris Tucker, Secretary O'Neill and
all of our guests. If you want more information on Bono's work or his organization, DATA, please visit
Join us on Oxygen. We'll be on Oxygen for "Oprah After the Show" with Bono after the show. Imagine what's going
on here.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 20, 2002 9:42 PM.

Bono on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Chicago, Illinois (September 20, 2002) was the previous entry in this blog.

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