Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Oprah Winfrey, Jamie Foxx and more stars took the time to honor essential workers amid the coronavirus pandemic in Harry Connick Jr.’s CBS special, United We Sing: A GRAMMY Tribute to the Unsung Heroes, on Sunday.
Connick began the show by acknowledging that it was filmed prior to the movement for racial justice across America and around the world in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd.
“Just so you know, this special was filmed a few weeks ago and since that time our world has changed,” Connick said during the special. “Our focus has broadened from the coronavirus to include a painful dialogue about racism in America.”
The special, which was filmed in part with the help of Connick’s 24-year-old daughter, Georgia, featured the New Orleans native traveling around his hometown to thank essential workers with the help of some celebrity pals.
One such A-lister was Pitt, who spoke with a shocked sanitation worker named Darnell Rudolph.
“Man, I love the work you’ve done after Katrina,” Rudolph told Pitt of the 2005 hurricane that destroyed much of New Orleans.
“That’s so appreciated, I’ve got such a love for that city, and we so appreciate what you’re doing,” Pitt told him before asking about his family.
ET’s Rachel Smith spoke with Connick last week prior to the special airing, where he talked about the exchange between Pitt and Rudolph.
“There was this one guy who’s a sanitation worker in New Orleans. We talked to him and he said, ‘Why are you talking to me?’ Georgia and I are like, ‘Because our lives, they would suck without you,'” Connick told ET of Rudolph. “Brad Pitt was on a Zoom on the iPad, we flipped the iPad around and Brad Pitt says, ‘Hey man, I just want to thank you,’ and the guy goes, ‘Oh wow!'”