Queer Eye star Carson Kressley is being accused of “cashing in” on Victoria’s bushfire victims, because he charged an appearance fee to be part of a recent PR event staged by Myer.
The Daily Telegraph allege that he was paid a $10,000 fee to travel to fire ravaged communities during his recent Australian trip to attend the Logies. It’s said that Jennifer Hawkins – who is the face of Myer, and thus already well paid by the company – waived her appearance fee, as did former Neighbours actor Benjamin Hart, and a number of Chadwicks models.
The Telegraph said that the retail giant “was shocked to be informed it would have to pay for his participation”. Although how many other staff working on the PR stunt, like photographers and security, did so without payment? Let’s not forget, the fee didn’t come out of donations to victims, they came from a company that reported a 2008 net profit of $95 million, up from $68 million in 2007. And while the event “benefited 750 mums, women and children affected by the fires” this event was also a piece of PR for Myer. Putting smiles on bushfire victims’ faces on Mothers Day can mean a lot for a brand in dollar terms.
Kressley’s agent refused to comment to the Daily Telegraph, and while Myer confirmed that Kressley was paid a fee, they didn’t confirm the amount.
“There was an arrangement,” said Myer’s Mitch Catlin. “Myer does not discuss arrangements with our ambassadors but we were thrilled we were able to bring Carson to the mums and kids of Whittlesea.”