When I had first heard of the Bum Fight movie series, I was utterly disgusted. Homeless men in San Diego and Las Vegas were given money, alcohol, and other incentives to fight with each other. The movie series was made by four friends. The National Coalition for the Homeless stated that these videos were made to dehumanize the homeless.
The producers of the movies faced six months in prison because they did not complete the community service that they were required. However the producers argued that the homeless individuals featured in their videos freely chose to participate. This is the last time I have heard of the homeless being used by the media to get attention. This certainly is not the best way to be noticed since people are actually getting injured in the process.
Fortunately a father and son have created a business to help the homeless get noticed again in a positive way. PimpThisBum.com is a website where thousands of visitors are learning about the story of Tim Edwards, a homeless man that went from being an office manager to becoming unemployed and living on the streets. The website even offers live webcasts and accepts donations to help Tim get back on his feet.
“We wanted to insult people’s sensitivities so that they would go to the site and see Tim, and people seem to have fallen in love with him. He’s funny and doesn’t blame the world for his situation,” stated Kevin Dolan in an interview with the AP. Kevin is a marketing specialist from Houston. He started the company with his son Sean.
Why choose the name Pimp This Bum? Sean believes if they chose a generic name such as “Help the Homeless,” visitors may ignore the service.