Kony 2012 filmmaker speaks about public breakdown

Group releases new video

SAN DIEGO - The filmmaker behind the viral video "Kony 2012" has released another film and gave his first interview after a public meltdown in Pacific Beach earlier this year.

"Kony 2012" became the most-viewed online video ever after it was released in March. It put the spotlight on African warlord Joseph Kony, who the group accuses of abducting children, using them as sex slaves and killing them.

However, Jason Russell, one of the founders of the San Diego-based group, suffered a very public breakdown a week after the video's release.

Russell was caught yelling and running around naked in Pacific Beach. The incident was caught on tape and released by TMZ. He was taken into custody for medical reasons and treated for an unspecified health issue.

For the first time, Russell opened up this week about the episode during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"That to me, slamming my hands as hard as I can, I don't know who that was…. I can't," said Russell. "I look at that video and I think, how sad for him."

Following the interview with Winfrey, Invisible Children released a new film, "Move," which tells the story of the movement behind Kony 2012. Parts of the film also tried to explain Russell's experience. In it, he talks about how overwhelmed he was before being hospitalized and gives an apology.

"My mind betrayed me and I was hospitalized," Russell said in the new video. "I'm so sorry to the thousands of people who were confused and who were scared and didn't trust us because of what happened."

According to Invisible Children, the organization received thousands of emails after the release of the video, and could never get the number of unread mail in its inbox below 4,000.

In the latest video, Russell said he couldn't sleep after nonstop interviews and a backlash by viewers who raised doubts about the film's veracity and the organization's financial practices.

"The conversation changed from Joseph Kony and the children who were victims of the war to who is this nonprofit? Who is this filmmaker?" Russell said.

The organization is organizing the Nov. 17 march in Washington, D.C., for Nov. 17 to pressure world leaders into attending a summit that will focus on capturing Kony, he said.

Print this article Back to Top