Ed Sheeran video slammed as 'poverty porn'

Section
Celebrity,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 December 2017, 9:25AM

A pop star's charity trip to Liberia has been nominated for the "most offensive" campaign of 2017.

Ed Sheeran travelled to Liberia for a series of videos created by Comic Relief and the Disasters Emergencies Committee that also featured actors Tom Hardy and Eddie Redmayne.

"This is where they're sleeping," Sheeran says to the camera as he looks at two young boys sleeping rough in a boat on a beach. "I can't process it."

At one point, Sheeran offers to pay for a child to sleep in a hotel.

But The Guardian reported Sheeran's video was described as "poverty tourism" by the judges of the Radi-Aid awards where it was nominated as one of the "worst campaigns of 2017".

The judges said the video was "about Ed Sheeran" and was "literally poverty tourism".

"The video should be less about Ed shouldering the burden alone but rather appealing to the wider world to step in. Massive improvement in the end," they said.

"But is Ed Sheeran willing to pay for the boy's housing forever? What an irresponsible thing to do, and for this video to glorify that is terrible."

Another critic, Beathe Ogard from Saih, praised Sheeran's intentions but said the clip was "horrible to watch".

"The problem is the video is focused on Ed Sheeran as the main character. He is portrayed as the only one coming down and being able to help."

Another video show Dunkirk star Tom Hardy on a trip to Yemen as "devoid of dignity".

Comic Relief has admitted it needs to try harder to be "edgy again".