Tom Hiddleston is doing live below the line, which is a charity organised attempt to up awareness for the 1 billion people who live below the poverty line. This is defined as living on less than £1 a day. To take part in live below the line you try and live on food and drink that may be purchased for less than £1 a day and water for five days and the official days are 29th Apr to 3rd May (but people can do it any time they like).
There are menus on the website and fact sheets and all sorts of things and Tom is doing one of these for UNICEF_UK and is tweeting pictures of his meals and about his reactions to the limited diet. He was also on This Morning today telling everyone about it.
Not once has he tried to make out he really knows what it's like to be poor. Not once has he tried to infer he is even remotely suffering by doing this. He isn't even telling people they have to go and do it either, only asking them if they can or if they can donate.
It took me twenty seconds on Google after Tom made his first tweet about it to find out all the details.
Yet on Twitter he gets responses like this (it's twitter, so read each piccie from the bottom up):
This to the guy who went to Guinea to actually see what was going on as well and the day after Tom tweeted this, so actually he totally didn't forget that:
To live truly #belowtheline I would have to surrender the roof over my head, gas, electricity, and clean, running water.
And he responded to these people and was really nice about it, because, y'know, he's a really nice guy and he's under no illusions about what he's doing.
And that's not even close to what I've seen on other sites.
Why do people have to be, 'oh he can't possibly understand', why can't they just see that this is someone trying to do good for others. I have seen people say, 'oh it doesn't make a difference', 'it's patronising', but UNICEF and the other charities involved clearly think it's a good idea. This isn't some hair-brained idea he thought up, he's doing this as part of an organised event. It's about raising money and raising awareness and giving people a glimpse of another world that they rarely, if ever see.
Yes, he's a privileged white guy, so what? It made me stop and think about if I could do something, so A+, it's working on me.
I can't imagine what it would be like not to just go and make a cup of tea whenever I feel like it or grab a sandwich because I happen to be hungry, not because I'm on a diet, but because there's no bread and nothing to go in it. Maybe if I did this I would have a tiny inkling, a little more empathy. Who knows, I'd have to try it and see.
Some people are being sponsored to do it, but even if you can't get anyone to sponsor you, you could always donate the money you didn't spend on food for those five days.
If you can't do the challenge for any reason, you could always give up luxury food like chocolate, pizza and alcohol and donate the money you would have spent to one of the charities. Hell, a bottle of wine is £4.99 and Rob and I get through one of those a week, so if I gave up alcohol for four weeks, that would be £20 for UNICEF right off.
This is a good cause and I can't understand why people are being down on it just because an actor is helping his chosen charity publicise it.