Invisible Children, the group behind the ‘Kony 2012′ phenomenon, has responded to critics with another video
Invisible Children, the non-profit group behind the viral “Kony 2012” film, slams critics in a new video released Monday.
Despite the title – “Thank You, Kony 2012 Supporters” — CEO Ben Keesey focuses on the naysayers, responding directly to those who have questioned the group’s finances and transparency.
"Any claims that we don’t have financial transparency, or we are not audited every year by an independent firm, or that we don’t have financial integrity, just aren’t true,” Keesey said.
Invisible Children had responded to these doubters on the group's blog, but as the video continues to draw more viewers — almost 75 million on YouTube as of Monday — it apparently felt compelled to do so in video form.
"When we lauched Kony 2012, the intention was to share the story of Joseph Kony with new people around world, but in the process there have been a lot of questions about us," Keesey said.
He detailed his own path to joining the group, from UCLA graduate and Deloitte employee-to-be, to human rights activist.
He took charge of the group's business side, and instrumental to its mission is making "compelling films."
Invisible Children released the viral “Kony 2012” video last week to expose Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a guerilla group that originated in Uganda.
The video has simultaneously lured big-name supporters like Ryan Seacrest and Angelina Jolie, and detractors, who have questioned everything from its finances to its mission. Critics say that focusing on Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, distracts from the real problems in Central and Eastern Africa.
Director Jason Russell has responded to that part before, acknowledging that it oversimplifies the issue. "This video is not the answer, it's just the gateway into the conversation. And we made it quick and oversimplified on purpose," he told Reuters.
In this response, Keesey focused on the financial aspect.
We’ll spare you the financial nitty-gritty, but Keesey did say the group got a $330,000 grant from a private foundation for its operations. That is one reason that a smaller percentage of money went straight to helping those affected by the violence in Africa.
The real question for Keesey may be whether this temporary surge of support and interest has abated.
None of the previous phrases, like "#stopkony" and "Invisible Children," are trending on Twitter anymore.
Whether it lasts or not, Keesey did want to pass along one message — "thank you so much." Check it out below:
← Previous Story