Lammy versus Dooley ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-47400300 )
David Lammy MP has picked up on the approach of Comic Relief:
“My problem with British celebrities being flown out by Comic Relief to make these films is that it sends a distorted image of Africa which perpetuates an old idea from the colonial era.” as he observed that celebrities, who are mainly white, visit traumatic situations in Africa.
Stacey Dooley (below, right) the documentary journalist, and Comic Relief contributor, has tweeted back: “David, is the issue with me being white? (Genuine question) …because if that’s the case, you could always go over there and try raise awareness?”
If you look at Lammy and Dooley, you will see that they are both on the side of good – but they are falling out on issues of race, colonialism and celebrity charity. These are important challenges, but the problem with Comic Relief is this – whilst it is an amazing initiative it is built upon a one off episode of giving and an approach to aid that can’t help being about doing for people. As a result, being with people gets sidelined.
This is the deeper matter behind the issues that Lammy and Dooley are raising, and a challenge for us all. (for more on this see my Being With blog)