Sunday, July 22, 2007

Clay Aiken: “All I Had to Do was Whore Myself Out”

A Claymate who had a Meet & Greet with Clay Aiken has reported the following regarding the Bubel/Aiken Foundation fundraising galas:

“Asked him [Clay] if BAF galas would be in Raleigh, he said No, they will look at other cities. Talked to him about the 100 camps goal. Yes, but look how much money we raised at Raleigh Gala when all I [Clay] had to do is whore myself out.”

Back in May, 2007, Clay Aiken appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and surprisingly, he dismissed pictures of his visit to Afghanistan for UNICEF as mere “photo ops”, while mocking the singing of children in another country that he visited.

It appears that Clay regards any efforts that he makes for charity as opportunities to do as little as possible for as much promotion, attention and laughs as possible. Here’s a well-deserved critique of Clay’s comments by Calliyuck (since this post, Clay’s comments have been confirmed):

“Do we know for sure that Faiken actually said this: "Yes, but look how much money we raised at the Raleigh Gala when all I had to do is whore myself out."

If Is that how he really feels? Even if it is, he must be nuts to say that outloud. More appropriate responses would have been:

"Yes, but look how much money we raised at the Raleigh Gala when all I had to do is make personal contributions of my time. I was SO honored that people would actually pay that kind of money to have lunch with me or have a personal meeting at one of my shows."

"Yes, but look how much money we raised at the Raleigh Gala when all I had to do is make personal contributions. If bidding on dinner with me or on one of my rings can bring in many thousands of dollars for charity, you can bet I'll be donating even MORE of my time and personal effects in the future!"

"Yes, but look how much money we raised at the Raleigh Gala when all I had to do is make that small extra effort of going to dinner with a fan or giving them a special m&g at one of my shows. Two hours of my time is going to earn thousands for the BAF. If we all gave two hours of our time to charitable endeavors, wouldn't the world be a better place?"

There were so many different ways Faiken could have phrased his comments -- making it a win-win deal for both himself and those who won his auctions. Instead, he chose to refer to his own contributions (which will probably take no more than a couple hours out of his life) as "whoring myself out." And if he's a whore, then he must think of those who "bought" him as nothing but desperate "johns" with big bucks and, believe me, he thinks of them with only contempt. (Ever heard of a prostitute who liked or respected her tricks?)

Imagine if he said the same thing about his UNICEF trips. "What do I do as a UNICEF ambassador? I just grow a beard, put on native clothes and wander around Afghanistan doing photo-ops, whoring myself out for a few days to bring attention to this part of the world."

If he said that, he'd be fired by UNICEF.

Maybe I shouldn't have written this long diatribe without knowing for sure if he made the "whore" remark at last night's m&g.

If he did, shame on him!”

Surprisingly, even a devout, immensely obsessed Claymate has openly criticized Clay for his remarks:

“Sunday, July 22, 2007
Clay Aiken: charity....whore?

Clay Aiken is Touring and one of the changes he has made is to hold the traditional Meet and Greets differently. Instead of lining up in a row the ten or twelve lucky fans who won a M&G, then have them approach him one at a time, he now chooses six and spends about 20 - 30 minutes with them in an intimate atmosphere before each show. From all the reports, this is working out extremely well. The fans are relaxed, Clay is relaxed, the conversation, although controlled by Clay, is a back-and-forth between the 'star' and his fans. The fans can ask questions and hopefully Clay answers them as honestly as he can, or wants to. This set-up has garnered some very interesting questions, the kind that most interviewers don't ask and we can get some insight to Clay that perhaps we wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise.

As interesting as the questions are that are being asked, Clay's answers are also interesting. He seems to be much more open than ever before, much more candid, but every once in a while I think, wtf? is he talking about. Case in point: the other night, a fan asked Clay about holding the BAF Gala in cities other than Raleigh.

In March, 2007, Clay held a Gala in Raleigh, NC, to raise money for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation. The tickets sold were very expensive, with the lowest going for around $200.00 a person, the highest was something like $10,000 a table for corporate sponsors. Although Clay had a Master of Ceremony and an auctioneer to auction off various items to the donors, he couldn't help but get involved himself, hocking the items along with the auctioneer, getting the crowd riled up, making jokes and generally, seemingly, having a good time. That Gala raised over $300,000 that night. Not a total to sneeze at.

When asked about holding the Galas in cities other than Raleigh, Clay said that yes, they were looking at other cities, but Raleigh had raised so much money, 'when all I had to do was whore myself out'. wtf?

I wonder how serious he was. That's a pretty harsh thing to say, especially to fans who more than likely support the BAF. I mean, it's true, a celebrity who attaches his/her name to a charity is a commodity up for the highest bid: that's the trade-off that's made if they want to raise money and Clay's not the first, nor will he be the last celebrity to do this. But it's a two-way street. If Clay is a whore (and he's a pretty popular whore), then we're the Johns. Not a very nice description of either party.

Just how cynical has Clay gotten in the past four years?

I have heard that Clay can be sarcastic. And I have to say that I'm not a relative nor a friend and I don't know him. I didn't hear his tone of voice when he said that, I didn't see his expression or his body language, he could have been kidding. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. It was just my wtf? moment of the week. I truly hope that Clay doesn't feel that way about his participation in raising money for the BAF, which is a much-needed charity whose goals, that are so attainable, can really make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities.”

So, Clay Aiken seems to characterize his activities for charities as “whoring” himself out? It seems that even some of his most devoted Claymates are hurt and offended by his remarks, as they should be. Is the BAF happy with this statement? Since Clay describes his activities with UNICEF as only “photo ops”, does he consider that he is “whoring” himself out with them as well? What does UNICEF thinks about this kind of statement coming from one of its Ambassadors? Isn't someone like Clay Aiken an embarassment to such a high-profile, established charity and a turn off to potential donors?