Celebrities, Your Personal Charities Are Bullshit and We All Know It

Dear Celebrities,

I know I've bagged on you guys before with good reason. I'm about to do it again. The latest news is that Lady Gaga's charity, Born This Way Foundation, only donated $5,000 of its $2.1 million towards "...grants to organizations or individuals." That's not even 1%!

Am I shocked?

Not really. Lady Gaga joins the long list of celebrities who start their own charities even though there's no reason to. Nearly all causes already have their own established charities. What's even better is that those charities already have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to be far more effective than some musician who would rather divert potential interest and start from scratch than capitalize on what's already out there.

The pessimist in me thinks of all the free media you get from your "philanthropic" works many of which happen to coincide with movie premieres, especially to smooth over hard feelings. Plus "raising awareness" is so vague and abstract that no one can really measure how effective your "philanthropy" really is.

Why did Lady Gaga need $2.1 million to tell everyone that bullying is bad, especially when a couple other people did it better? Is she going to raise more money to "educate" the public on other profound, un-examined issues like why domestic violence is bad and how homelessness is terrible? What does $60,000 worth of research look like? What measurable variables did her charity use to measure success? (I'm guess like nearly all celebrity charities, the answer to the last question is NONE.)

Are you sure your celebrity charities aren't really about self-image promotion and preservation that happens to be nice tax shelters too?

I'd love an answer, but I'm sure you'll just refer me to your lawyers and/or PR people.

Love,
Archibald Perkins