On episode 14 of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 12, Dorit Kemsley and her husband, host a charity event called “Homeless Not Toothless” at their home. They invite the other housewives and some friends to an extravagant dinner with the excuse of charity.
Of course the only charity representative at the event- where the wine and bags the ladies wear cost more than the basic dental treatment of at least 100 homeless and toothless in L.A- is a charity representative. As expected, no homeless or toothless get an invite.
Indeed, as soon as the housewives sit down for dinner, it is embarrassingly obvious that the charity event is yet another pretext to party and to fight among themselves to create content. In good Real Housewives style, the women fight, while the men (P.K and Mauricio who are both dads of daughters) have a macho style conversation where they decide who is the second hottest housewife after their respective wives (Dorit and Kyle).
Passive aggressive Kyle Richards with the best smile on her face but her claws ready to cause another cat fight, asks Sutton if Lisa said she should “get the f**k out of my house” during a wine tasting do at Lisa’s.
Sutton was not bringing up the incident, neither was Lisa but Kyle Richards- encouraged I guess by the show producers-brought up the nasty encounter during dinner making “Homeless not Toothless”charity do all about the catfight not the homeless or toothless whom they couldn’t care less.
The fact that many celebrities use charity or human rights organisations to make themselves look good when one can tell they couldn’t care less about either is damaging to these charities and to how others perceive philanthropy when done by celebrities. If celebs want to make a generous contribution, surely they are welcomed to do so like any other private citizen who donates money and doesn’t brag about it to the world.
Engaging in real philanthropy has nothing to do with writing checks which is what these ladies do. I understand the producers have a show to make and the episode cannot be about a charity about toothless people but why use charity to whitewash their wealth and endless parties?
In this episode the good intentions backfired as the homeless not toothless charity do need up being everything but a noble act. Writing a check with money you barely need is not the same as committing some real time and effort to help homeless and toothless people in Los Angeles. Real charity is not giving away what you don’t need or what you can do without, people who do real charity are those who give what they don’t have. Those who also engage and commit to do the work are the real philanthropists.
Back in February after her divorce from Bill Gates, Melinda Gates said she will no longer give the bulk of her wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and would instead give her money away through philanthropic ventures.
‘I recognize the absurdity of so much wealth being concentrated in the hands of one person, and I believe the only responsible thing to do with a fortune this size is give it away—as thoughtfully and impactfully as possible,’ Melinda said in a pledge letter.
‘I also commit my time, energy, and efforts to the work of fighting poverty and advancing equality—for women and girls and other marginalised groups—in the United States and around the world. My giving will continue to focus on the people for whom the barriers to equality are highest.’
Regarding obnoxiously rich people like herself she went as far as admitting “There’s no question in my mind that the real standard for generosity is set by the people who give even when it means going without.”