Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.


Why are some celebrities so ignorant about Ebola?

I wish I didn’t have to write this article, I really do. And no, this isn’t me being the ‘fun police’ or the ‘party pooper’ (does anyone actually still say that?), it’s me being fed up with ignorance. In the current outbreak of Ebola, nearly 5000 people have lost their lives to this devastating virus, with over 10,000 people infected. It’s destroying countries from the inside, as poorly constructed and resourced health systems are failing to curtail the virus. I don’t need to tell you this though, you already know how horrible Ebola is and how thousands are suffering everyday - it’s on the news all the time.
Well it looks like celebrity Amy Childs may have missed the last few months. When interviewed by the very funny ‘The Revolution Will be Televised,’ Amy Childs dumbfounded us all when she thought the deadly virus Ebola was a band. Check out the Instagram below.
Really though? It amazes me that someone could confuse the virus that has been the cause of so many deaths as the latest band out. The only bit that she might be right about, is that Ebola could indeed be huge if we don't put serious resources into controlling its spread. But not huge/good. That could be down to just general ignorance, but what I also saw yesterday from another celebrity wasn’t ignorance, but downright nastiness.
I wrote earlier this month about the harshness of making jokes at the expense of Ebola victims, but it would seem Katie Hopkins didn’t get the memo. I was on the bus home last night when I came across this ridiculously crass tweet.
Now I like a good laugh, but this is taking the piss a little. There are people dying excruciating deaths right now and a privileged (dare I say it) ‘public figure’ is laughing at them on Twitter. I’m sorry but that’s not only offensive but actually horrible. Why not do something constructive with your privileged ‘celebrity’ status and help raise funds to help these people, instead of just mocking them.
Celebrities have a chance here to really make a difference to those that need it the most. And you do, too. There is the Disasters Emergency Committee that is taking donations from the general public now to help stop Ebola (click here!); anything you can spare would go a long way in the fight to end this outbreak. And as for the jokes/ignorance - the sooner some celebrities get a bit of sense the better. For people who are only famous for being famous (hai Katie Hopkins), their most valuable asset is arguably their social media following. Unfollowing them will send them a little bit closer to irrelevance.
Paul Abernethy