Comic Re­lief to stop send­ing celebs to Africa

Daily Star - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by JACK AN­DREWS

COMIC Re­lief was left red-faced last night af­ter promis­ing to ban celebri­ties from go­ing to Africa.

Strictly’s Stacey Doo­ley was slammed this year for pos­ing in Uganda but crit­ics fear the move will af­fect vi­tal pub­lic do­na­tions.

COMIC Re­lief has banned all its celebri­ties from go­ing to pover­tys­tricken black coun­tries.

Film di­rec­tor Richard Cur­tis, who co­founded the char­ity, vowed to phase out “white saviour” ap­peals.

Strictly win­ner Stacey Doo­ley had been slammed for post­ing a pic­ture of a young black boy while she was in Uganda.

It drew sting­ing crit­i­cism from Labour’s David Lammy and sparked a race storm on so­cial me­dia as peo­ple ques­tioned why it was al­ways white stars be­ing filmed help­ing poor black peo­ple.

Ad­dress­ing MPs, Mr Cur­tis said fu­ture fund­ing ini­tia­tives “will not be based on celebri­ties go­ing abroad” – and that would in­clude co-founder Sir Lenny Henry.

“It is a re­ally com­pli­cated is­sue be­cause we feel this des­per­ate, pas­sion­ate need to raise as much money as we can,” Mr Cur­tis told the In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee. But if we’re do­ing harm as well, that won’t do.”


Tot­ten­ham MP Mr Lammy tweeted: “Looks like Comic Re­lief are fi­nally ready to lis­ten to hun­dreds of thou­sands of my con­stituents and oth­ers who sup­port aid but want to move on from the tired, harm­ful stereo­types and tropes that sur­round it and pre­vent gen­uine eq­uity and part­ner­ship.”

But crit­ics blasted Mr Lammy and said peo­ple will no longer fund the cause.

One wrote: “You’ve al­lowed this to spi­ral out of con­trol. The im­pres­sion you’re giv­ing is Africa doesn’t need char­ity from white peo­ple. OK, I’ll stop do­nat­ing then, so will oth­ers.”

A sec­ond said: “In this so­ci­ety we live in, whether u agree with it or not, ‘a celebrity’ go­ing some­where brings more at­ten­tion to a plight and there­fore en­cour­ages more peo­ple who wouldn’t nor­mally to do­nate. There­fore rais­ing money for the cause.”

An­other added: “Your self pro­mot­ing nar­cis­sism last year cost dy­ing chil­dren in Africa mil­lions of pounds of aid.”

Do­na­tions to the char­ity were re­port­edly down by £8mil­lion.

STARS: Louise Red­knapp, Kim­ber­ley Walsh and Liam Payne ROW: Strictly star Stacey in Uganda, and Ed Sheeran AXE: Richard and co­founder SIr Lenny

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