Visual representations of celebrity campaigns have changed in recent years. They have moved away from depicting starving children towards featuring agitated celebrities. But this has not altered the underlying gaze and patterns of engagement. These are based on patronising, quasi-imperial definitions of compassion, not on a form of solidarity that respects its counterpart as equal. Even where celebrity campaigns have moved from humanitarian crisis to political engagement, like in the Sudan campaigns made prominent by George Clooney, representations of conflicts follow a “Western” logic that relies on the “white” saviour but lacks real understanding of local contexts. This representation unites the celebrity and general audiences in a constituency of compassion, and ultimately plays a role in demands made from “Western” political leaders.