Parris Goebel has defended halting her Instagram fundraiser for the Australian bushfires, amid accusations of using the tragedy for publicity and backing down on donation promises.
The Kiwi dancer and choreographer pledged to donate $20 each time her followers shared a dedicated Instagram post in an effort to help rescue services fight the raging bushfires.
At the time, Goebel didn't stipulate a time limit for the fundraising scheme. When it appeared she had put a stop to it, she received backlash from fans who believed she was trying to avoid paying up.
Responding to a since-deleted tweet in which Twitter user @itsnotkelly appeared to accuse the 28-year-old of changing the caption on her Instagram post, Goebel explained she had made a donation.
"Read the bottom of the changed caption it clearly says 'THANK YOU to everyone that reshared, I've donated to Red Cross [Australia]," she wrote.
"Australia is burning and you’re bugging over a changed caption. Please a) donate and spread awareness or b) get a life."
While it's not possible to see how many times the post was shared, it has been liked over 400,000 times. If every person who liked the post also shared it, Goebel would owe around $8.2 million.
In subsequent social media posts, Goebel explained her reasoning behind the initiative, amid accusations of a publicity stunt.
"I'm not getting paid to post about the fires, I'm not gaining followers. This is real life and if my country was on fire I would hope the world would speak up too and help out. Oh and I don’t even have a publicist, so publicity stunt that," she tweeted.
The choregrapher, who has famously worked with Justin Bieber, J-Lo and Rihanna, explained she did not let the scheme run for longer because she wanted to donate urgently.
"Any logical person is going to donate ASAP as they need our help and donations URGENTLY."
Adressing the Twitter user @itsnotkelly, Goebel wrote: "My apologies Kelly if you were expecting me to leave the reshares go for a week. Was trying to find a great initiative to raise awareness and donate money. Let a girl help!"
As well as deleting the tweet in question, @itsnotkelly said she had apologised for misreading the caption.