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Joining them for a discussion in the studio was Vanessa Feltz and Dr Ranj Singh as well as David Lammy MP who was live on telephone link.
The topic up for debate was surrounding the controversy about BBC documentary presenter Stacey Dooley’s involvement with Comic Relief and the photos she had posted to her official instagram page.
Following Feltz and Dr Ranj giving their opinions, viewers saw Schofield engage Lammy into the conversation and ask him about his stance on the issue since he had hit out at Dooley claiming “the world does not need any more white saviours”.
Schofield said to the guests in the studio: “Take a pause there, one of the people that responded, David Lammy MP, is on the phone now.”
Lammy was extremely passionate about getting his side of the argument across and on several occasions shut Schofield down when he tried to interject, to continue explaining his point.
“Let’s just be clear, there is obviously a role for charity, and one celebrates people doing good causes particularly in Africa,” ITV viewers heard Lammy begin. “But there are big questions about how it is done.
“The form of Comic Relief sending out celebrities on expensive flights, beautiful white heroines with a black baby…who looks helpless, with no agency, no parents around, she is there as a white saviour.
“It is a story that is now hundreds of years old and it’s precisely what keeps Africa poor. Comic Relief is not challenging the audience of how and why, it’s saying ‘sit back and give me some money’.”
As Schofield went to interject and ask Lammy to clarify whether he was suggesting Comic Relief supporters should relinquish giving to charity, the MP was quick to explain: “I’m not saying that!”
“Listen, listen to me, listen to me for a second,” Lammy urged Schofield, to which the latter then let him continue speaking.
“You could have had some Africans talking about their country instead. You could film part of the night in the continent in Africa. Comic Relief has said they’re trying to make films with people in Africa, to work with black camera men and film, they are trying to make those steps.
“Unfortunately, Stacey Dooley has ran into the same criticism as the likes of Ed Sheeran and Madonna,” Lammy continued.
Schofield then interjected and strongly stated: “Comic Relief gave you the chance to go and you haven’t responded.”
Lammy replied: “I have responded. I don’t want to be part of their PR machine, I said let’s wait and see what this years Comic Relief is like.”
“Why wait? Would that be great for you as an intelligent, influential black man to have [helped] change it?” Schofield challenged.
“Listen to me,” Lammy remarked but Phillip hit back: “No we haven’t got time, I just wanted your answer.”
“I’m not a filmmaker,” Lammy defended. “There are thousands of African filmmakers and celebrities. My job is to raise the debate as a politician.
“Comic Relief can easily do this if they get off their high horse and not rely on the BBC to do the same thing every year and changed their formula,” he argued.
Schofield then returned the discussion to the studio and asked Dr Singh to have the last word.
The doctor said: “David makes excellent points. My issue was with the tone [of the picture Dooley posted]. Her intentions were good.”
She was criticised by Lammy and accused of perpetuating the “white saviour” trope in a series of his Tweets.
His initial comment said: “The world does not need any more white saviours. As I’ve said before, this just perpetuates tired and unhelpful stereotypes. Let’s instead promote voices from across the continent of Africa and have serious debate.”
Dooley replied to the remark and asked: “David, is the issue with me being white? (Genuine question) …because if that’s the case, you could always go over there and try raise awareness? Comic relief have raised over 1 billion pounds since they started.
I saw projects that were saving lives with the money. Kids lives.”
And Lammy then explained in a thread: “Hi @StaceyDooley This isn’t personal and I don’t question your good motives. My problem with British celebrities being flown out by Comic Relief to make these films is that it sends a distorted image of Africa which perpetuates an old idea from the colonial era.”
Comic Relief has commented on the claims made by Lammy and a spokesperson has told the press: “We are really grateful that Stacey agreed to go to Uganda to discover more about projects British people have funded there and make no apologies for this.
“In her film, people working with or supported by Comic Relief projects tell their own stories in their own words.
“We have previously asked David Lammy if he would like to work with us to make a film in Africa and he has not responded. The offer is still open.”