So, did you hear about the celebrity sperm donor service earlier this week, set up by a company allegedly offering “celebrity sperm” to anyone who needed to use a donor? A number of journalists from reputable newspapers and other outlets around the world were taken in and ran features on the company whose website featured donors such as an Oscar-winning actor, a former Premiership footballer and an aristocrat with a seat in the House of Lords. The ITV show This Morning even ran a studio interview with an actor claiming to be the man behind the company.
The company’s website stated that the celebrities had decided to donate sperm because they had friends or family who had experienced fertility problems and that potential clients would be able to choose to have a child with the inherited character traits of a Formula One racing driver, a leading entrepreneur or scientist.
It has now, unsurprisingly, been revealed to be a hoax, set up by a TV production company for an entertainment programme. The company claimed that the hoax aimed to highlight the sometimes detrimental impact of social media on the news culture. It is difficult to see why they decided to create a hoax sperm donor service in order to do this or what the allegedly “serious” side of this might be. It’s not the first hoax about sperm donation either – some years ago a fake company was claiming to offer free festival tickets in return for sperm donations.
I’m still getting sent links to pieces about this new ‘service’ written by people who have yet to learn about the hoax. The TV company in question clearly thought this hoax was a great joke and are doubtless congratulating themselves on a jolly jape. I’m afraid to me it just shows the total lack of sympathy and respect many people still have for those who experience fertility problems – can you imagine the outcry if this hoax had featured a treatment for any other kind of medical condition?