Pandemic prom: John Krasinski meets a high school need

Actor John Kraskinski hosted a high school prom during a pandemic on his "Some Good News" video series. He brought celebrities together for an online event that high schoolers won't forget.

Sparkling dresses, perfect bow ties, polished shoes, and shiny jewelry – the class of 2020 was ready for prom. But as the pandemic swept across the globe, cancelling everything from sporting events to wedding parties, many teens were also deprived of this major high school milestone.

That is, until actor John Krasinski decided to host his own online prom party.

In the fourth episode of his positive video series, “Some Good News,” Mr. Krasinski put on his black tie, blew up gold balloons, and hung up party streamers to cheer up teens all around the country. Mr. Krasinski pulled from his network of celebrities up for a good cause, and hosted a unique prom party with guests such as the Jonas Brothers, Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, and former co-star Rainn Wilson. Brad Pitt even made a short appearance. 

“We are all going through this together,” Mr. Krasinski said, “this is a very very weird time. But each and every one of you are missing something, and this is the least I could do and I couldn’t be more proud to do it.”

Through a live video, teens were able to join in from their living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens, and dance to the live performances from the musical guests. 

The video, which now has more than 4 million views, also included a segment praising the many frontline heroes not wearing scrubs – grocery store employees, utility technicians, police and firemen, sanitation and transportation workers, delivery men, and restaurant workers. 

Astronauts even made an appearance, sending good news from the International Space Station. 

“There is so much good news happening in the space world right now, this year we will be celebrating 20 years of a continued human presence on board the International Space Station,” NASA's Dr. Jessica Meir said from orbit. “We’ve been up here conducting thousands of experiments that help benefit life back on earth.”

The astronauts also shared tips to break up the isolation including exercise, eating, looking out the window, or connecting with friends and family.

In recent weeks, public figures and celebrities have been coming together online both to satisfy the public’s demand for uplifting news, but also for them to stay engaged and connected to their devoted audiences.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many musicians have been sharing livestreams of their performances, bringing some joy to fans stuck at home, including Pink, Katharine McPhee and David Foster, Keith Urban, The Killers, Andrea Bocelli, and many more. 

On April 18, more than 20 million people watched the “One World: Together at Home” concert organized by Global Citizen. The concert, which featured major artists including Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, and the Rolling Stones, raised $128 million to support health care workers.

From entertainment, to acts of kindness, or major donations, many celebrities around the world have stepped up to help in the fight against the pandemic. NBA player Bismack Biyombo has donated more than $1 million worth of medical supplies, including 10,000 face masks and 780 hazardous materials suits to the Democratic Republic of Congo, his home country. Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace and her daughter donated 200,000 euros to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital to help address equipment shortages.

Others, like Mr. Krasinski, simply hosted a fun night for stuck-at-home teens. 

“We earned it, all together, we earned this,” Mr. Krasinski said, ending his video.

Editor’s note: As a public service, the Monitor has removed the paywall for all our coronavirus coverage. It’s free.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.