Rita Ora is being called "tone-deaf" for selling coronavirus merch

20 March 2020, 15:27

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Rita's coronavirus merch is to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation.

The coronavirus outbreak is currently crippling the world and celebrities are trying to do their part and help. On Thursday (Mar 19), Gal Gadot rallied her famous friends for an, er, encouraging rendition of John Lennon's 'Imagine', while Kylie Jenner urged her 166 million Instagram followers to practice social distancing and self-isolate if needed. Now Rita Ora has revealed a new line of merch with the proceeds going to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

The singer unveiled her t-shirt, which featured a picture of the virus and a red peace sign on top of it, on Instagram. She wrote: "In case you haven't heard, I’ve launched #StopTheSpread merch campaign with and in support of @UNfoundation @WHO!!!

READ MORE: Celebs are being dragged for singing John Lennon’s Imagine in response to coronavirus

"ALL proceeds go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. If you want to do something about Covid-19 stay safe and clean, and Play Your Part by getting this merch and helping the cause!! Link on my stories and in my bio right now, we can do this together."

Rita Ora is being called "tone-deaf"
Rita Ora is being called "tone-deaf". Picture: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Annabel's, @ritaora via Instagram

The merch isn't just limited to t-shirts either. Rita is also selling hats, stickers and hoodies, all with the same symbol and "stop the spread on them". Prices range from $8 to $50.

In an Instagram Live with Miley Cyrus, Rita explained how she contacted Sir Bob Geldof, the UN President and World Health Organisation for advice on how she could make a difference. She said: "I have not been able to sleep since this all went on, like, my mum is not very well. She's okay, but… it's just a scary time for everyone […] I took the classic '60s peace sign and I wanted to put the virus on it because this is about playing your part, it's about spreading the knowledge."

While everyone thought the sentiment of the new merch line was good, some accused Rita of being "tone-deaf". A lot of people are struggling to find work right now because of the pandemic, a t-shirt is probably the last thing they would like to buy.

Others noted that Rita, who is reportedly worth between $12 million and $23 million, should not be asking her fans to donate when she is wealthy.

For more information and guidelines on coronavirus, read the NHS advice here.

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