I don’t know if you guys are aware of this ‘ice water challenge’ thing, but one thing I’m not clear on is why we’re rewarding Ansel Elgort for participating in it.
I guess I should explain what it is, first — it’s a challenge designed to bring attention to the disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, or more commonly, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The way it’s laid out, you get challenged by someone to either donate $100 to ALS research…or you have to videotape yourself pouring ice water over your head, and then challenge three more people to do the same thing. It’s a fun way to bring attention to an underfunded cause (as if there are causes that aren’t underfunded), but the problem is…most people are opting for ice water.
I get that it’s hilarious to watch somebody get freezing cold water dumped on their body, but it’s gotten to the point now where people are proudly choosing that route as if doing so is helpful to the research in its own right. (Which it arguably is, as it raises the profile of the disease and its treatment, but buzz doesn’t fund research, so I’m betting the organizations involved would prefer just the money.)
Anyway, Ansel signed up for a YouTube account specifically to answer a challenge, and in his defense, he did also donate $500 to the cause. But in the process, he minimized its importance somewhat by making the water seem like the fun part, and even saying he thought the challenge was ‘dumb’ in the caption:
“I got nominated to do one of these challenges and at first I thought it was dumb, but then I realized that it was for a good cause.”
Was that really necessary? Probably not. I know everybody’s really into him right now, but after this and how bored out of their minds he and Shailene Woodley were at the Teen Choice Awards last night, I’m starting to think he’s just not my cup of tea. But by all means, watch the video of him dancing around in the water a few more times. Unless of course you want to cruise on over to the ALS Association’s website and make a donation of your own. It’s really your call…unless you’re Nat Wolff, John Green, or Dylan O’Brien, in which case Ansel has already challenged you.