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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter

"Reading Rainbow" was suddenly on everyone's mind this week when LeVar Burton announced a Kickstarter on Wednesday. The goal? To raise $1 million in order to revive "Reading Rainbow" and bring interactive books and video field trips to kids everywhere. It would also help classrooms in need. Burton made the Kickstarter a generous 35 days long — but was shocked when it surpassed its goal on the first day. Burton released an emotional video thanking everyone for their donations. Then he embarked on a press tour, where he's done everything from a Reddit AMA to interviews with media outlets like People Magazine. Check out more about the Kickstarter here.


6 Reasons Why Celebrity Kickstarters Are the Worst


If you've ever heard of Kickstarter, then you already know it's a pretty cool platform for crowd-sourcing projects. The platform allows people to create "pitches" for their projects and tell the world why they think their project will be great. It often includes samples of their work, an explanation of what the final project might look like, and things called "backer tiers" — basically, incentives for those who are backing the project.

The creators only get the money for the project if they reach their allotted goal. Some projects are better than others, of course, but it's an especially great tool for independent artists to turn their projects from concepts into reality.

But celebrities are taking over and it's making me really, really cranky. Zach Braff, James Franco, Spike Lee, Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna from HBO's "Girls"), Eisley... they've all started Kickstarters (or, worse, IndieGoGo projects, which gives the creators the money regardless of whether they hit their goal — so say goodbye to that $100 you pledged, even if the project never pans out). It's not that I feel celebrities shouldn't be allowed to use Kickstarter, or that they don't have a right to try to fund their projects this way. Just that I don't like it. Here are a few reasons why celebrity Kickstarters are the worst.

1. Celebrities already have money.

Isn't it kind of obnoxious that Zach Braff, who has an estimated net worth of $22 million and who reportedly made $350,000 per "Scrubs" episode in the later seasons, is asking us to support his $2 million project? It's not that I think Zach Braff should just pony up the cash to support his own project. I don't even know what having $22 million as a "net worth" really means, so he may not even have anywhere near the liquid cash he'd need to get a movie created. But I think it's bold of celebrities that are already richer than any of us will ever be to ask us for money.