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Comic Relief donations drop after ‘white saviour’ debate

CONTROVERSY: Stacey Dooley filming for Comic Relief

COMIC RELIEF suffered an £8 million fall compared to the previous year and lost nearly a half a million viewers, it has been revealed.

A total of £63.5m was raised by the end of Friday night’s show, compared with £71.3m in 2017.

According to the BBC, this year’s telethon also saw a dip in ratings, with an average of 5.6 million people tuning in - 600,000 fewer viewers than in 2017.

Comic Relief donations peaked in 2011 - when £108.4m was raised - and have been falling since.

The decline follows a debate led by David Lammy, after he called out documentary-maker Stacey Dooley for promoting a “white saviour” complex.

Lammy claimed Dooley was spreading “tired and unhelpful stereotypes” about Africa after she travelled to Uganda for a Comic Relief documentary.

The back and forth between Dooley and Lammy garnered much attention in the lead up to the event, leaving many questioning the stereotypes often perpetrated by the charity - including comedian Romesh Ranganathan.

Writing a piece for The Guardian ahead of the event, Ranganathan said: “I may not completely agree with David Lammy, because the direct result could well be that fewer people made donations,” he said.

“But his central argument – that these photos promote a stereotype that has been reinforced by charity work of this nature – echoes concerns that many people have had for a long time.”

Ranganathan added: “Comic Relief needs to improve, but that it has done an incredible job when it comes to helping many people lead better lives.”

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