Charitable celebrities should expect backlash


Illustration by Kathleen Hetherington.

While fires raged in Australia, social media users raged about celebrities’ charitable donations.

The Australian fires put Jeff Bezos back in the spotlight, who donated $690,000 to the fire. Instagram model Kaylen Ward raised $700,000 for the Australian fires by selling her nude photos online. When celebrities donate to a cause, the public usually condemns or praises the donations.

Bezos should be held accountable for not donating more to Australia than an Instagram model. Nothing against the Instagram model, but Bezos is literally a billionaire. His net worth is $116.7 billion

Ward would send an explicit photo to a person’s direct messages if they showed proof they donated to the Australian bushfire charities. As a result, Ward suffered repercussions from raising money by having her Twitter and Instagram accounts deactivated. Ward also said that she was disowned by family members for sending the photos.

Ward did something that many Instagram entrepreneurs do and got her social media accounts deleted in response. The only real difference between Ward and her fellow Instagrammers is that Ward received none of the money.

Another Instagram star and comedian named Celeste Barber raised more than $22 million 48 hours after she launched a Facebook fundraiser. High profile figures such as Bezos should expect to be criticized by the public when they announce they donated a small fraction of their earnings.

I get that it is Bezos’ money, but he could, and should, donate so much more, considering Instagram stars make less than he does. 

Celebrities should expect some backlash from the public over the donations or charitable things they do. Sadly enough, some people might just assume that the celebrity is being charitable to make themselves look better or to correct some other previous media faux pas.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017, YouTube star Jake Paul went to Houston to save victims. This is definitely a very charitable and kind thing to do. The only issue I see with the help is Jake Paul uploaded two different videos related to helping the victims.

One video title is related to rescuing animals caught in the storm and has the added clickbait title with the word emotional. The video descriptions do say buying exclusive merchandise will go 100% to victims of Hurricane Harvey, but there is no sign if the videos are monetized.

It seems to me like Jake Paul recorded just to get views and make himself look like a charitable person. Jake Paul could have very easily rescued people out of the kindness of his heart, but it is easy to think he was helping Houston just to gain views. 

Jake Paul and Bezos, in theory, did something good, but the way they went about doing it can be subject to criticism or disapproval.