Rita Ora is being called "tone-deaf" for selling coronavirus merch
20 March 2020, 15:27
Rita's coronavirus merch is to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation.
The coronavirus outbreak is currently crippling the world and celebrities are trying to do their part and help. On Thursday (Mar 19), Gal Gadot rallied her famous friends for an, er, encouraging rendition of John Lennon's 'Imagine', while Kylie Jenner urged her 166 million Instagram followers to practice social distancing and self-isolate if needed. Now Rita Ora has revealed a new line of merch with the proceeds going to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The singer unveiled her t-shirt, which featured a picture of the virus and a red peace sign on top of it, on Instagram. She wrote: "In case you haven't heard, I’ve launched #StopTheSpread merch campaign with and in support of @UNfoundation @WHO!!!
"ALL proceeds go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. If you want to do something about Covid-19 stay safe and clean, and Play Your Part by getting this merch and helping the cause!! Link on my stories and in my bio right now, we can do this together."
The merch isn't just limited to t-shirts either. Rita is also selling hats, stickers and hoodies, all with the same symbol and "stop the spread on them". Prices range from $8 to $50.
In an Instagram Live with Miley Cyrus, Rita explained how she contacted Sir Bob Geldof, the UN President and World Health Organisation for advice on how she could make a difference. She said: "I have not been able to sleep since this all went on, like, my mum is not very well. She's okay, but… it's just a scary time for everyone […] I took the classic '60s peace sign and I wanted to put the virus on it because this is about playing your part, it's about spreading the knowledge."
View this post on Instagram
In case you haven’t heard, I’ve launched #StopTheSpread merch campaign with and in support of @UNfoundation @WHO!!! ALL proceeds go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. If you want to do something about Covid-19 stay safe and clean, and Play Your Part by getting this merch and helping the cause!! Link on my stories and in my bio right now, we can do this together ❤️❤️❤️
While everyone thought the sentiment of the new merch line was good, some accused Rita of being "tone-deaf". A lot of people are struggling to find work right now because of the pandemic, a t-shirt is probably the last thing they would like to buy.
Others noted that Rita, who is reportedly worth between $12 million and $23 million, should not be asking her fans to donate when she is wealthy.
it's really exposing how little they understand about like....anything https://t.co/s69U3iNHJg— Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) March 20, 2020
she’s getting poor people to buy stuff right now????? imagine being THIS tone deaf— mila (shay) (@ufwari) March 20, 2020
Don’t worry guys Rita Ora just stopped coronavirus pic.twitter.com/KLTQNIw9b4— 𝑬𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒆 🌹 (@ellhaworth) March 20, 2020
r*ta o*a selling “corona merch” i cant. these celebs are making me want to be around ppl. pic.twitter.com/zgIz0EBGQJ— Amanda Rosenberg (@AmandaRosenberg) March 19, 2020
you dont need to raise awareness. we all very very well aware, aware to a fault. https://t.co/ilMKZe1KB8— Socially Distanced Friend (@treynoldssucks) March 20, 2020
rich ppl make no sense, just donate the fuckin money and advocate instead of making urself the middleman for attention!— 𝔭𝔬𝔦𝔰𝔬𝔫 𝔬𝔞k𝔩𝔞𝔫𝔡 ˚♡ ⋆｡ (@poison_oakland) March 20, 2020
For more information and guidelines on coronavirus, read the NHS advice here.