'Kony 2012' Goes Hollywood: Celebrity Photog Tyler Shields Writes 'Stop Kony' in His Own Blood
On the second day of the absurdly viral #StopKony campaign, Hollywood jumped on board.
Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Oprah and the rest Tweeted a 30-minute documentary produced by non-profit organization Invisible Children to millions of followers -- making the hip, clickable Joseph Kony awareness drive quite possibly the most popular charity effort in Internet history.
On Vimeo and YouTube combined, the video has about...
... 45 million views and counting. (That's like, one-fifteenth of Bieber's first music video!) Facebook and Twitter are lit up with superficial chatter about Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, who for the last two decades have been abducting Ugandan children and using them as soldiers and sex slaves.
But seeping through the glamor, there has been some backlash from Invisible Children's critics. Many don't feel enough of the organization's budget is going to on-the-ground aid. Others don't feel it should be aligning itself so closely with Uganda's military, who -- although cleaner than Kony -- doesn't have the best human-rights reputation of its own.
Anyway, back to Hollywood! All this skepticism hasn't stopped L.A. shock photographer Tyler Shields from devoting a bit of his own blood to the cause. Apparently it's supposed to represent the spilled blood of so many Ugandans at the hands of His Evilness? Dunno really, but Shields wins, because we're creeped.
Shields is the same provocateur behind the pepper-spraying hot chicks and bloody vampire pics of Lindsay Lohan. But those used fake blood -- this is the first time he's actually tapped his own veins for pigment. "I painted this using my own blood lets stop the blood shed here!" he writes below his finger painting.
(We can just see perennial Hollywood critic Andrew Breitbart rolling over in his fresh grave. Unquestioning left-wing support of charity orgs was Breitbart's No. 1 pet peeve -- and he always preached that the entertainment industry was its lifeblood.)
What do you think? Gimmick or raw artistic activism? Also, if you haven't watched the video yet, it's time you did, at least so you can rip on it and know what you're talking about.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.