Coco Austin, wife of actor and singer Ice-T, who stars in a reality show alongside her husband titled "Ice Loves Coco" on the E! network was spotted in Hoboken, NJ on November 4th, along with her film crew taping a bit for her show. According to a recent inquiry, no permit appears to have been issued by the city of Hoboken to allow her to film which raises the question, was Coco sincerely trying to help the community or was she preying on those less fortunate for personal gain and more fame and stardom in the wake of hurricane Sandy?
According to a Salvation Army publicist named Grahm who returned my call, "Coco was on hand from about 3pm to close to 5:30pm. She had called us ahead of time to let us know she would be helping us out. She did help out by passing out food and serving meals from the Salvation Army food truck". However according to several eyewitness accounts, Coco's work was minimal at best.
While camera crews from major news networks were on hand to tape the Governor Christie news conference, the film crew from the E! network hunkered down on the corner of Newark and Washington Street, 3 cameras total. As I watched the situation unfold with my own eyes over the course of about 10 minutes, Coco Austin gave out 4 or 5 bags of snacks to people as they walked by, all the while donning Salvation Army apron. According to reports from other residents, Coco Austin was seen pushing a push cart of food around a corner which lasted all of a minute or 2 and Coco appeared in the food truck itself giving out meals for what seemed like very little time, all of her actions recorded on film by a film crew that routinely blocked those less fortunate trying to eat a hot meal from the truck but couldn't since the film crew was blocking the line while filing on the corner. When not on camera, Coco was posing for pictures and signing autographs.
Having to wait myself for a few minutes for the filming to stop so I could get a hot meal from the Salvation Truck, everyone around me had their jaws dropped in what appeared to be anger as to what was going on around them. Furthermore the film crew was filming myself while I ate as well as countless others, all of us never signing any releases to be filmed. Coco, apron and all didn't hide her ASSets either. Sporting her classic tight sweatpants, the world renowned derriere show off seemed to many to be on location for mere publicity, rather than to sincerely help those in need and using the Salvation Army as a tool to look good.
While Coco Austin has from time to time made sizeable donations to various charities, does giving money also give one the right to film for a show to make yourself look good? Camera lover Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, star of "Jersey Shore" didn't jump in front of any cameras seeking publicity during Sandy. In fact Snooki put together nearly 20 bags of her clothing and took to the shore herself, dropped off and left to appear on Good Morning America to plead for funds and work on a hotline answering calls for donations for those in need, which raised $7,000,000.
People have argued that Coco Austin is a true lover of charity, which does seem to be true and it's certainly noble and appreciated, however just because you give lots of charity doesnt make it right for one to feed off tradgedy for personal gain. All this week in Hoboken 1000's of people volunteered all day and night. People without power and heat occupying their time helping others in the same predicimate. Hours upon hours of volunteering by many. Women and men young and old jumping up in National Guard trucks with food and blankets, spending all day to help others because it makes people feel good to help others. But to help only when the cameras are on and using what seemed like half the time to pose for pictures and autographs, is that really helping others? Or is it media attention and using Hoboken and it's unfortunate residents as a back drop? Coco wasn't seen off camera helping anyone nor have their been reports that she was volunteering elsewhere in the city that day. Calls to the E! network producers of "Ice Loves Coco" were not returned.