Pitt, a constant target of the paparazzi, told the magazine that he figured if the cameras were going to follow him and girlfriend Angelina Jolie everywhere, they might as well lure them somewhere that needed the world's attention.
"It's the first time I've actually felt like we have some degree of control over it," Pitt told Newsweek for an issue on newsstands Monday. "I can't describe what an immense relief it is for me."
Pitt and Jolie also sold the first picture of their daughter Shiloh to People magazine for a reported $4 million, saying all proceeds would be donated to charity.
"Knowing that someone was going to hound us for that first photo — and was going to profit immensely for doing it — I just couldn't live with it," Pitt told the magazine. "We were able to turn that around and collect millions for people who are really going to need it."
Also among the 15 people or corporations named were Soledad O'Brien, an anchor on CNN's "American Morning" who the magazine said showed an "inner rage" while reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; and Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life."