A couple months ago, NBC aired a new series called “The Philanthropist,” inspired by the philanthropic work of Bobby Sager, and starring James Purefoy (“A Knight’s Tale”), Neve Campbell (“Party of Five”), Lindy Booth (“The 4400”) and Jesse L. Martin (“Law and Order”). In each episode, the titular character Teddy Rist (Purefoy) discovers some new injustice in the world that needs righting, from human trafficking to the situation in Burma to war and peace in Kashmir. And the issues are brought to light.
Now, I don’t know how successful an approach this is, since I don’t think NBC have poured too many resources into marketing this (just as they didn’t with “Kings,” but that’s another story …), and I’m not sure “vigilante philanthropy” is the right way to go, but it’s certainly one way to raise awareness of issues and to challenge people to do something. And I hope people who see this show take up that challenge, whether it’s to tell other people about the issues they heard about and saw or to actually go work for a humanitarian organization or a non-profit or something else. The creators of the show used their creativity to make a show that’s not moralizing or heavy on the platitudes, that has good writers, good scripts, a good cast and good acting, to bring issues that are important to them–and should be to us all–to light.
May we be as responsible with our gifts.
P.S. Here’s an article on Sager.