Dawn Butler MP: Comic Relief ‘always shows black people as poor’

Dawn Butler MP: Comic Relief ‘always shows black people as poor’

Monday, March 18, 2019

Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused charities like Comic Relief of “always showing black people as being poor and impoverished”.

The MP David Lammy was called to apologise after the charity appeal saw a drop in donations of £8million.

The Labour MP had previously criticised Comic Relief for sending documentary maker Stacey Dooley to film in Africa, calling her a “white saviour”.



Ms Butler told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “We have to look at how we treat people and how we talk about people.

“It comes down to always showing black people as being poor and impoverished.

“Instead we need to show what a difference investment makes or cancelling debts – lots of their debts were not of their making.”


'I do a lot for charity'

Speaking about the “white saviour” criticism, Ms Butler said it was possible to fundraise without “holding a black baby”.

“I have got no problem with fundraising and helping developing countries,” she said.

“I do have a problem with how issues are portrayed. You don’t always have to do good by holding a black baby – you don’t need that  and as a country we need to look at how we fundraise.”



Ms Butler went on to give an example of when a show asked her to visit a council estate for “reality TV”.

“One time they tried to get me to do something on a council estate as reality TV and I was really insulted by that,” she said.

“It felt like they were trying to say that I have never lived on a council estate. It irritates me when people make these assumptions.

“I do a lot for charity and don’t always promote it because that is not what I am about.”