Charities are not immune from the ”Weinstein effect.” Oxfam is one the UK’s biggest charities, and one of the world’s largest relief organizations. The vast majority of Oxfam volunteers and employees are doing great work with the world’s most impoverished people, which makes this situation even more sad.
In the past few months, Oxfam has lost thousands of donors – and most recently, it’s CEO and 1,000 staff in the UK – because of the sexual misconduct of several senior staff members, who enjoyed a “a culture of impunity.”
Back in 2011, Oxfam’s top staff based in Haiti “hired” many helpless Haitians as prostitutes while there on that benighted island to serve the people after the horrific 2010 earthquake as relief workers! In some cases, workers even exchanged food and supplies for sex. The Oxfam director in Haiti, Roland van Hauwermeiren, had a history of sexual misconduct allegations. According to reports, after each offense he was allowed a dignified exit from one country to the next, and one charity to the next.
These outfits have long been under scrutiny in many quarters, but they have by and large skated along smoothly ignoring their critics and operating with carte blanche within countries where they are giving aid.
Let’s muse for a moment about what is worse!
What Harvey did or what these Oxfam relief workers did?
They are BOTH deplorable abuses of power and privilege!
However, the Haitian victims were destitute, and the offenders were ambassadors of an organization embodying compassion and moral fortitude – qualities Hollywood is not known for.
And a premier aid organization turns a blind eye while their leaders not only foster an internally deplorable work culture (which is far too common in today’s world), but they take criminal advantage of the local people, as well.
The face of the Brand Killing here is Mark Goldring who has announced he will step down at the end of the year as Oxfam’s CEO. Although not necessarily complicit as far as we know, what is this guy waiting for? It took 8 years for all of this disgusting behavior to come out, and he has been at the organization for 5 years. It happened on his watch and he needs to GO NOW!
Oxfam owes it to their constituencies and to their brand. Sometimes one wonders how blind some people can be! Where is the Board of Directors in this instance?
Are you still wondering how widespread these kinds of incidents are?
In case you are wondering, we have an associate from the entertainment and film industries who tells us that EVERY STUDIO HAS ITS HARVEY WEINSTEIN, SOME EVEN HAVE MORE THAN ONE!
Kinda makes one wonder how many for-profit and non-profits have a Harvey Weinstein at the gateway to success…