“The world does not need any more white saviours.”
Last Month, Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy sparked a variety of reactions with his comments regarding the Comic Relief association acting as ‘White Saviours.’
Comic Relief received £63 million in 2019, sinking £8 million from 2018. Conservative MP Chris Philp and many newspapers point the blame to Lammy for sparking the ‘White Saviour’ row.
Pathetic manufactured indignation from @DavidLammy has caused £8m less money to be raised for charity. The cost of his absurd egotistical posturing is real. This is money that could have been used to save lives. He should fulsomely apologise to stop a repeat next year pic.twitter.com/Kmr5HirBqV
— Chris Philp MP (@CPhilpOfficial) March 17, 2019
The debate was sparked when documentary film-maker and contestant of Strictly Come Dancing Stacey Dooley posted an image during her visit to Uganda with Comic Relief.
Lammy commented: “The world does not need any more white saviours. As I’ve said before, this just perpetuates tired and unhelpful stereotypes.
“Let’s instead promote voices from across the continent of Africa and have serious debate.”
He added that the issue wasn’t a personal matter, and he doesn’t question her “good motives.”
The issue aligns with ‘British celebrities’ being flown out to the slums of Africa by Comic Relief with the aims to produce a film which sends a “distorted image” of the continent and bolster an “old idea from the colonial era.”
Though the reasoning behind whether Lammy’s comments were the cause for the loss of donations, there were many other possible reasons for the £8 million pound drop.
An argument put forward by many being “Tory austerity,” with less people having disposable income, people don’t have the funds to give to charity.
Since the 2013 scandal involving Comic Relief spending £630,000 on shares of a weaponry company and £3 million on shares of tobacco companies, there has been a lack of trust in corporate charities.
Some took inspiration from Lammy to donate to local charities as an alternative to Comic Relief.
In 2018, before the debate was sparked within the public sphere; Comic Reliefs donations sunk £5 million compared to 2017. The losses within the charity are far from recent, crashing £30 million between 2015 and 2017.
It appears Lammy’s words caused effect before they came from his mouth.
By Connor Taylor-Parton
Images provided by Stacey Dooley/Instagram