Channel Seven, a popular Australian television network, is under fire for reportedly demanding a cancer charity pay for its production costs in return for covering an upcoming fundraiser. The $130,000 in question would have covered the costs of sending a reporter (and crew) from its Sunrise program to a 21-day celebrity walk in China.
Olivia Newton-John and a host of local and international stars begin a 228km trek over 21 days next Monday to raise funds for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre Appeal.
Apparently, Channel Seven agreed to provide the coverage only if the charity could come up with a sponsor to cover their costs. Unfortunately, no sponsor could be found — and the cancer organization was angered saying that it would be inappropriate for a charity to give money to a commercial concern. So, the network pulled out and all hell broke loose.
It’s an interesting debacle. On one hand, this is a 21-day shoot that comes with great expense — on the other, you’re dealing with a major Australian network that probably isn’t hurting on the books. It’s too bad that some kind of compromise (meet you half-way?) couldn’t be reached whereas the charity would receive its publicity and the network would be seen doing a good deed. Now, they just look foolish.