According to Jason Russell’s family, the Kony 2012 director has never had a problem with drugs or alcohol and his recent episode, while irrational, was not a result of “either of those things.”
San Diego police have declined requests to confirm the identity of the 33 year old man who was picked up by the authorities after 911 callers claimed the man was acting irrationally and interfering with traffic as he ran around the streets of SD in his underwear. Regardless if their official response, CNN has stated that:
“an official familiar with the case confirmed him to be Russell.”
Police have said that the man was transported to a local medical facility and not arrested as some had previously suspected.
Russell is the director of Kony 2012, a video about warlord Joseph Kony which went viral and received millions of views since its release on the 5th of March, as well as one of the founders of Invisible Children. Invisible Children is the nonprofit group which produced the Kony 2012 film in order to increase international awareness of the crimes committed by African warlord Joseph Kony.
The director’s family said that some of the criticism has affected the filmmaker. They went onto say in a statement:
“Let us say upfront that Jason has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and this episode wasn’t caused by either of those things, but yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration. On our end, the focus remains only on his health and protecting our family.”
Invisible Children’s chief executive issued a statement Friday which confirmed that Jason Russell was indeed hospitalized for the following ailments:
“exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition.”
As Jason’s Kony 2012 video was incredibly successful, it received an incredible amount of views and coverage which resulted in a what appears to be far greater impact than they had originally projected. Seeing as the video was more than a little bit personal, some of the attacks that resulted from the controversy were aimed directly at Jason Russell’s personal life. As if to summarize the incident, Ben Keesey’s statement read:
“The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.”
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army which terrorizes central Africa, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. He is widely accused of kidnapping and enslaving children, forcing them to work as child soldiers and prostitutes, in addition to rapes, murders, and tortures.
In October of 2011, the United States deployed 100 combat ready troops on a mission to either kill or capture Joseph Kony. Since learning of the deployment of U.S. troops, Kony has altered his strategies to evade capture.
One of the goals of the Kony 2012 video was to get celebrities on board and behind the cause as celebrities typically have the ability to easily communicate with a large scale audience. Between Angelina Jolie’s “Joseph Kony, I hate him” comment and support from other Hollywood stars such as George Clooney, it appears as if the Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video has achieved success in this aspect of their goal and is ultimately that much closer to bringing warlord Joseph Kony to justice for his crimes against humanity.
If you haven’t already seen it, watch the Kony 2012 video: