Exploitation

24 May

I’m not talking about exploiting yourself or your body for your own financial or fame gain; I couldn’t care less about that.

The photo above is from Joplin, MO, my home state. The tornado has devastated the community. At this time there are 119 confirmed fatalities and over 500 injuries and there are still 1500 folks who are still unaccounted for. The sense of shock and loss is overwhelming. As humans, we are of course drawn to tragedy; yes, we are sick.

It has becoming increasingly apparent that people are taking advantage of this situation. Everything from looting, to raising money, to selling video and photos is running rampant in the aftermath.  This is of course a reality after most disasters, yet just because something is “common place,” does NOT make it okay.  When people are hurting and grieving, no one should profit from the pain and grief.

A lot of folks are coming in under the guise of, “I am just doing this for the victims and all the proceeds will go to them.” Oh really? You’re making a film at the location of disaster, detailing the disaster,  that will have YOUR name all over it, that will take months, if not years to produce, then the victims will get 100% of the film’s revenue.  Yeah, that sounds totally selfless to me.  People in the wake of a tragedy do NOT want to be part of your claim to fame. You’re using them. Plain and simple.

Now, the news media is down there taking pictures and filming, because it’s news. Their reports are nearly instantaneous, thereby raising awareness and garnering help. Shooting a film, documentary, movie or whatever you want to call it, in the disaster area is just crass and is a display of poor taste in the extreme.

The facts are simple. If you are truly of benevolent intention, you are not out for personal gain; you want to help. To help, donate to the Salvation Army by texting BLESSING to 85944, or if you have medical training, call 800-427-4626 to be put on the volunteer list. That is what is needed. A film about tornado victims and the destruction of their lives, is not.

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