KICKED IN THE DOOLEYS
Comic Relief to stop sending celebs to Africa
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