April 5th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Kony sequel is out and firing back at critics

A famously viral and controversial video that turned an African warlord into a household name in February now has a sequel.

On Thursday morning, the San Diego-based organization Invisible Children released "Beyond Famous." Coming in at 19 minutes - about 10 minutes less than the group's first video - the sequel addresses media criticism of the first "Kony 2012" video, which caught fire on Twitter and was reportedly viewed on YouTube 100 million times. It also explains what politicians in Washington and in Africa have done in the past month since the original "Kony 2012" video.

The second video continues to advocate for the capture of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. Formed in the 1980s, the LRA is a sectarian military and religious group that operates in Uganda and South Sudan. As its leader, Kony recruited child soldiers and committed numerous atrocities include raping and maiming civilians, experts say. Kony is at large.

Ben Keesey, Invisible Children's executive director, told CNN the makers of the first video said they wanted to explain the plight of children affected by the LRA. The video hung its narrative on 30-something American filmmaker Jason Russell, his friendship with a young Ugandan boy who had escaped from the LRA, and Russell's young son, Gavin.

At one point in that video, Russell tells his son on camera that there are bad guys like Kony in the world. The child reacts as any child would incredibly scared. Russell, who recently had a public meltdown, is not part of the sequel.

Critics blasted the video as overly simplistic.

"We made the first video intentionally for a young Western audience, and therefore it was a priority that the video keep their attention," Keesey told CNN on Thursday. "This (new) video goes deeper. I think people will respond."

The sequel opens with soundbites from critics of the first video. The voices of various pundits and media personalities say "simplified" a couple of times. Mid-sentence soundbites from journalists, several of them on CNN, round out the beginning of the video.

Keesey narrates, explaining the creation of the campaign, its progress and ongoing efforts to stop the LRA. Part two essentially rehashes what was in the first video, but Keesey notes that officials from the United States to Africa have spoken recently about their desire to stop Kony or have signed measures aimed at stopping him. He adds that the African Union recently announced plans to deploy 5,000 troops to hunt down Kony.

The United Nations, meanwhile, said in late March that attacks by Kony's army are increasing.

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Filed under: Africa • World
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    A look at his background tells us that Joseph Kony considers himself 'quite a good Christian'
    So why havn't we heard much about this Christian terrorist and atrocities committed by his 'Lord's Army' untill the Kony 2012??

    April 5, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Shambalah

      because invisible children is protecting a murderous regime that proposes capital punishment for LGBT ugandans. Invisible children is a neocon propaganda machine making money off the death of innocents. Toobad CNN will never publish this comment

      April 5, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • DUH!

      Because you live in a bubble?

      April 5, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Wuxia007

      Because Joseph Kony and his quasi-Christian terrorism has had no effect or presents on American interests. Why haven't we heard much about Buddhist terrorists in Sri Lanka or Hindu Terrorists in India? Because they don't affect America's interests.

      April 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @saywhat: the problem is the locals sweeping it under the rug trying to keep from legitimizing his 'rebellion' against the government of uganda.

      and those in a position to turn him in being unwilling or unable to do so.

      as is generally the case, it's not the rest of the world victimizing africa. it's the various african leaderships.

      they, like the syrians, want the rest of the world to handle their problems. that way, if anything goes wrong, there's someone besides themselves to blame.

      April 5, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • EatYouAlive

      Just another RELIGIOUS terrorist/nutbar.

      April 5, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ Taylor

      Great point. Perhaps because in the US we've only been taught and shown time and time again that it's only Muslims who are capable of being terrorists; which as you accurately point out, overlook present and past "Christian" atrocities.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • seriously76

      Kony has been in the news for years. However, if you are only a headline news watcher, you most likely wouldn't read about him. He's been infamous for awhile now. Invisible Children made him headline news.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tonee_Rhian_Rose

      I'd heard about a guy abducting kids basically since I was 12. IDK if it was Kony or another warlord, but it's just sad that it's taken this long for ppl to care about catching him.

      April 11, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Spiffy

    Good job disabling the comments on the video.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Willy B.

    When can we expect to see the naked run through the streets of San Diego?

    April 5, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • timmyharris

      Willy, the man had a mental breakdown due to extreme pressure placed on him! I don't believe mental breakdowns nor mental illness should ever be made fun of. You should be ashamed of yourself, please do your research before posting comments about people/situations you have very little knowledge of!

      April 5, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • timmyharris

      Willy, the man had a mental breakdown due to extreme pressure placed on him! I don't believe mental breakdowns nor mental illness should ever be made fun of. You should be ashamed of yourself, please do your research before posting comments about people/situations you have very little knowledge of!

      April 5, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      yesss! you can do it Willy B just put some periods behind it..,

      April 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Shambalah


    So does CNN. If you spell out a word that starts with G and ends with Y, your comment will not be published.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      lol. swing and a miss

      April 5, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      I'm not sure being against one side means you necessarily support everything about the other side. You make it seem like Kony supports the LGBT community, which I kind of doubt given his Christian Terrorist nature. Also, I believe that CNN flags "gay" because people use it as an insult (unfortunately) moreso than a bias against the LGBT community.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      letmie try...G. A. Y.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 567


    April 5, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      gay gay gay

      April 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      mah-bad willy b don't need the gay green card...

      April 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Morvin

    See, published

    April 5, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Haley Behre

    Reblogged this on haleybehre and commented:
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Ue6REkeTA&w=640&h=390%5D

    April 5, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Josh

    Wait, it took something like 9 years to release the first kony 2012 and less than a month for the second?

    April 5, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • catherine barrows

      Wait...oh, I get it. You're just out to criticize, without even knowing what you are talking about! Kony 2012 is IC's 11th film on the subject. You're awesome!

      April 6, 2012 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy ©

    I have heard of Kony years ago...but with the advent of YouTube and the in-your-face immediacy of the news and the web, many more are hearing about it now, thankfully.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Good Christians, my heiny!

      April 5, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @banasy: tish, you know i go nuts when you talk about your heiny..

      April 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      i see you heiny soooo black and shiney! it makes me giggle, to see it wiggle!

      April 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      I forgot, Gomez...

      April 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. is that the bad man from the STAHHH WAHHRS?

    I like STAH WAHRS so much it's my favorite type of STAH WAHRS

    I wonder how many times he'll be taking his glasses off and putting them back on in this video.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. andrew

    Anyone who falls for this propaganda again is nothing less than an idiot. It has come out that Kony has not been in Uganda in over six years and that his group is less than 200 men. We have also seen the co-founder drunk and talking about he was going to keep $900,000 of a government grant for himself. And who can forget the founder is still in a padded room probably still masturbating. Plus we have discovered this group is funded by the State Department and their original financing came from our Government and a Soros think tank. This isn't and never was a grassroots organization. It is nothing more than propaganda aimed at gathering public support to invade Africa. All in all anyone who still sees this organization or their cause as legitimate is delusional.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • catherine barrows

      You are mentally ill.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Doc

    So, what should America do about this problem specifically?

    April 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @doc: what *can* we do? we go after our criminals. why don't uganda and their neighbors?

      April 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kermit's Wife

      are we talkin' about banasy heiny problem?

      April 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. paul

    I see nothing in the picture.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      liar...i see a complexion that is smooth as a baby's behind...qvc and hsn should use him to promo their skin care products...

      April 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stephen Lonewolf


    April 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. realitypolice

    If you are thinking about donating to Invisible Children, do yourself a favor. Take $100, flush $65 of it down the toilet, because that's how much IC skims off the top, and then send the remaining $35 to a reputable charity.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
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