Launches another misguided fundraiser
Jason Russell, director of the viral video Kony 2012, was detained on March 15 after reportedly cavorting around the streets of San Diego naked, screaming obscenities, vandalising cars, and masturbating in public, less than two weeks after his video shot Russell to global fame.
The video, produced by US activist group Invisible Children, was released on March 5, but quickly went viral. As of 20 March, it had over 100 million views online, with celebrities from Oprah to George Clooney commenting on it in the twitter-sphere.
The aim of Kony 2012 was to make the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony infamous in the hope that greater public awareness would bring him to justice in the International Criminal Court.
Originally intended for a high school audience, Kony 2012 was soon criticised for its tone of Western dominance and for oversimplifying the issues. Others pointed out that Kony is believed to have left Uganda years ago and has only an estimated 150-200 followers left, making the film largely irrelevant.
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It is likely that these criticisms are what led to Russell’s apparent breakdown, with both his wife and fellow Invisible Children co-founder Ben Keesey citing “exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition” as reasons for his behaviour. San Diego police reportedly transferred him to a medical institution for further care.