*The UK charity Comic Relief, founded in 1985 in response to famine in Ethiopia, says it will stop sending celebrities to Africa for fundraising appeals due to recent criticism.
Celebs including singer Ed Sheeran, have been branded “white saviors” for making videos in poverty-stricken villages. Sheeran’s trip to Liberia in 2017 for the organization was called “offensive and stereotypical.”
TV host Stacey Dooley was also criticized over pictures of her holding a young boy in Uganda last year were labelled “tired and unhelpful stereotypes” by Labour MP David Lammy. “The world does not need any more white saviors,” he was quoted as saying, adding that picture conjured “a colonial image of a white, beautiful heroine holding a black child, with no agency, no parents in sight.”
Comic Relief founders Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis have both since suggested that the organization will move away from its traditional approach of celebrity-fronted campaign films towards a local approach using filmmakers from Africa to make more authentic pieces.