Jason Russell's Breakdown / #Horny2012

Jason Russell's Breakdown / #Horny2012

Part of a series on Kony 2012. [View Related Entries]

Updated Dec 14, 2012 at 12:54PM EST by Don.

Added Mar 16, 2012 at 06:09PM EDT by amanda b..

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On March 16th, 2012, an NBC affiliate reported that Jason Russell[1], one of the co-founders of the nonprofit organization Invisible Children Inc. and the KONY 2012 movement, was detained[2] in San Diego, California. He was allegedly taken into custody for drunkenness, vandalizing cars, and masturbating in public.

According to the official report, San Diego Police responded to several calls about a man in his underwear running through traffic and yelling in broad daylight. When the police arrived at the scene, Russell was cooperative and the officers suspected he was under the influence. After taking him into custody, the police took Russell to a medical center where he was placed under an involuntary psychiatric hold.[3]

Notable Developments

The story was immediately picked up by the Huffington Post[6], People[8], the Washington Post[9], and the Wall Street Journal.[10] Jezebel[7] published an email from a reader named Cindy who saw the incident. Although it was initially reported that Russell was arrested when taken into custody, San Diego Police Department later confirmed that he was briefly detained and later hospitalized without arrest. Within 48 hours of the episode, TMZ[4] published videos allegedly showing Russell standing on a street corner, pounding his fists on the ground.

Online Reaction

In the following hours of news report, people began uploading image macros with commentaries on Russell’s breakdown via Quickmeme[11] and hashtag puns like #Horny2012, #Koner2012 and #Faptivism surfaced on Twitter.

Comedian Patton Oswalt commented on the news via Twitter:

Invisible Children’s Response

Shortly after the story broke, Invisible Children’s CEO Ben Keesey issued a statement[5] about the Russell’s helath on the company’s blog, noting that he was hospitalized exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition, due to the emotional toll taken by the success of the KONY 2012 video.

Danica Russell, the wife of Jason Russell, also released a statement regarding the incident, revealing the pressure her 32-year-old husband and director has been under since the viral rise of KONY 2012:

Jason has dedicated his adult life to this cause, leading up to KONY2012. We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it. While that attention was great for raising awareness about Joseph Kony, it also brought a lot of attention to Jason--and, because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal, and Jason took them very hard.

Search Interest

While search queries for “Jason Russell” and “Horny2012” both show an upsurge in March, they remain outnumbered in terms of volume when compared to “Invisible Children” and “Kony 2012.”

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