Band Aid 30’s Shame

The following is an OpEd piece that looks at peer pressure shaming, coercion conformity, and bullying.  For expert advice on the subject of bullying, harassment, and stalking, consult a lawyer, barrister, or solicitor who is qualified to answer your questions on all aspects of the law in your country.

This weekend, a number of well-known, recognized recording artists congregated in the studio with Sir Bob Geldoff to re-record “Do They Know It’s Christmas” as a fundraiser for Africa — 30 years after it was first recorded as a fundraiser for Africa.

Among those recording for this version of the song are Bono, One Direction, Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Chris Martin, Sinead O’Connor, Angelique Kidjo, and others.

Now this isn’t an article on the success of the recording.  After all, the 1984 version raised £8 million (12.5 million USD) for famine relief, and it’s laudable that a similar attempt to raise funds to address the Ebola epidemic is being made thirty years later.

NOTE:  The song was re-recorded in 1989 and again in 2004.

That being said, it was disconcerting to read in print media that Bob Geldoff allegedly told Dan Wootton of the Sun newspaper that Adele wasn’t among the recording artists because she is “doing nothing.”  And all this, according to the Sun, along with a claim that Bob Geldoff and his friends supposedly phoned Adele one hundred times about being on the single.

According to the Daily Mail, Bob Geldoff reportedly said to Dan Wootton:

Adele is doing nothing, she’s not answering the phone.  She doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone… She’s bringing up a family you know. Some people just don’t think they can’t make any impact by coming along.

The fact of the matter is, Adele’s management has stated publicly that the singer is supporting Oxfam’s Ebola Appeal, and so she is, indeed, doing something … it’s just not the something Bob Geldoff wants her to do.

He wants Adele to help people in Africa who are fighting Ebola by doing what HE believes she should be doing — re-recording his single from thirty years ago.

So while Bob Geldoff attempts to peer pressure shame Adele for her decision to help in a way other than how Bob Geldoff would have liked her to help, she neither snubbed him as is reported in the media, nor chose to do nothing.

Of course, putting his story out first is a pre-emptive strike, and the negative repercussions against Adele will be ones that no one will be able to stop.

It’s been reported that the proceeds from the sale of the single will go towards this cause.  The profit.  And profit means the amount that remains after expenses are deducted.

The copyright owners of this song are Bob Geldof and Midge Ure (who wrote the song back in the day) and Chappel Music Ltd., (which owns the publishing).

It’s clear that the royalties from the mechanical license will be donated.  It’s not clear if the royalties from performances will be donated.  It’s also not clear if royalties from synchronization rights will be donated.  And lastly, it’s unclear if royalties from print rights will be donated.

Or will Bob Geldoff reap — and enjoy — his traditional royalties from these other royalty streams?

The answer is immaterial because it’s nobody’s business how Bob Geldoff decides to donate his time and money to help the less fortunate.

It’s also why it’s not right for Bob Geldoff to besmirch Adele’s name for deciding how she chooses to donate her time and money to help the less fortunate.

To think this peer pressure shaming and public bullying happened at the start of Anti-Bullying Week.  And if Bob Geldoff and friends actually phoned Adele one hundred times about this, that doesn’t play well at the start of Anti-Bullying Week either.

Elyse Bruce

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One Response to “Band Aid 30’s Shame”


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