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Japanese celebrities NewS do charity telethon -- for a price

8:05 AM on 08.30.2009 // Colette Bennett

I dig Japanese boy bands, and I'm not afraid to admit it. So when I heard that NTV's 24 Hour Television event was going to be hosted by NewS, I was definitely interested to watch it (it's currently airing now). Video from the event has already begun to pop up, and you can see that each member of NewS is participating in some sort of charity event such as helping a disabled boy learn to swim. Viewers can call in to donate money after watching if they so desire.
This all sounds lovely except for one dirty little bit of laundry that was aired out on Nikkan Sunday this morning -- unlike celebrities in other countries who volunteer their time for charity events such as this, NewS was paid to be there. Japan Probe reports 200-300 million yen is put aside to pay the celebrities that appear on the program. This has resulted in angry comments calling the event a "fake charity" and more, as you can see here.
Offensive, or just plain obvious? Somehow I am not surprised ... I never assumed any major personality appearing at any charity event I watched growing up didn't get paid to be there. What's your take on it?

Colette Bennett,
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