Anti-awards take aim at celebrity charity videos… despite one of them saving five African kids
Which is the most offensive fundraising campaign out there? Radi-Aid Awards are eager to declare a winner and have kindly narrowed it down to the three star-studded charity options that they deem to be the bottom of the barrel.
The world can now shoot down the charity efforts of singer Ed Sheeran or actors Tom Hardy and Eddie Redmayne.
The Radi-Aid Awards – originally named The Radiator Awards – is an annual event created by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund. The Norwegian aid watchdog aims to celebrate what they believe to be the best and worst charity fundraising videos.
The judging panel did not hold back on three of Britain’s most famous men, taking Hardy, Sheeran, and Redmayne to task – despite direct benefit to some of the poverty-stricken children that were included in the campaigns.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) bore the brunt of the anti-award nominations, receiving two out of three nominations for the final 'prize'.
The DEC’s Africa Famine Appeal 2017 video, starring Brit actor Eddie Redmayne, was deemed as “awful” by judges.
“It is surprising to see the ‘white spokesperson trope’ in a development video published in 2017. The video offers no political context, it’s close to ‘poverty porn’ and of people waiting to be saved. How is the long-term issue addressed?” the panel said.
DEC’s dressing down continued with judges taking down a second video, entitled Tom Hardy Appeals For You To Donate To Yemen Crisis.
The video was labelled as “graphical and stereotypical” and “devoid of dignity to those suffering,” and declared both DEC videos a swing and a miss.
“They're really bringing back the 80s with this video,” the jury said in their of Hardy’s appeal for aid. “This ad shares the same problems as the Africa Famine Appeal by DEC. Context of 'We're doing well, you selfish people.' But it offers some context and a bit of detail. Humanitarian crises are difficult, though.”
Judges savaged the third video, made by Comic Relief, that followed musician Ed Sheeran on a trip to Liberia. In the video, Sheeran becomes so distressed by the situation faced by JD, a young Liberian boy, that he puts them up in a house for a night while they try to find aid for the 14-year-old orphan and his friends.
“This is a video is about Ed Sheeran. It’s literally poverty tourism,” judges said in their assessment of the fundraiser clip. “The video should be less about Ed shouldering the burden alone but rather appealing to the wider world to step in. Massive improvement in the end. But is Ed Sheeran willing to pay for the boy's housing forever? What an irresponsible thing to do, and for this video to glorify that is terrible.”
What the judges fail to mention is that JD has now a permanent roof over his head, thanks to Sheeran.
In March, the Mail Online spoke to JD himself, who said that for the first time in months he feels safe at night with his new guardian, whom he calls 'Ma'. He and his four friends who Sheeran put up in accommodation are now all in the care of the same woman.
“I used to sleep in canoes on the beach with my friends. Now I feel much better because I stay with Ma and she takes care of us,” JD said. “She always comes looking for us to make sure we are OK. She really cares about me. I didn't have that before.”
“If I had not met Street Child and Ed, I would still be on the streets and sleeping in canoes on the beach. I wouldn't have anyone to care for me.”
Ed Sheeran and Tom Hardy have both been approached by RT for a response to their nominations. Voting for the Radi-Aid Awards 2017 is open from November 23 until December 4.