Founders of anti-poverty charity Comic Relief, Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry, will be retiring the celebrity trips to Africa, which has been labelled as "offensive and stereotypical".
Following this, the "white saviour" criticism, which has plagued the Comic Relief charity numerous times in the past, has once and for all been looked at.
When you think of Comic Relief, you'll remember seeing TV crossovers you'd never dreamed of happening - such as the 'Normal People'/'Fleabag' one which RTE gifted us earlier this year. However, there are also heartbreaking videos dotted throughout the charity service, which features real-life stories of people who are in need of the money being rasied.
One such feature in the BBC's version of the show, would be to send a celebrity to a country in Africa in order for them to highlight the poverty of the chosen area. Most of the time, these would be white celebrities, with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Gary Barlow, David Walliams, One Direction, and Stacey Dooley all flying out to these poverty-stricken regions of the continent in the past.
Now, the initiative will no longer happen following many years of "white saviour" criticism. UK Labour MP David Lammy was quoted in the past, saying: "The world does not need any more white saviours". He called Sheeran's trip to Liberia in 2017 "offensive and stereotypical".
1985 founders of Comic Relief Curtis and Henry have both since suggested new ways that the charity can offer a different approach in its filmmaking in the future. They will now move more towards a local approach, using filmmakers from Africa to make more authentic pieces.
Henry had this to say about the much-needed change-up: "A lot has changed over Comic Relief’s 35 years, and so the way we raise money and talk about the issues we are here to tackle, and the people we are here to support, must change as well.
"African people don’t want us to tell their stories for them. What they need is more agency, a platform and partnership. Investing in local talent across Africa to tell stories from their communities is great and a much-needed step forward, but as always there is more that can be done.
"The energy and passion for change and new perspectives is there in bucket loads."
Via The Guardian.