Jason Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, the group behind the Kony 2012 viral video, as well as the Stop Kony campaign, was detained by San Diego police on Thursday.
Neighbors of the filmmaker reported seeing him running naked down the streets in a Pacific Beach neighborhood. According to the Los Angeles Times, Russell, 33, was pounding his fists on the sidewalk and shouting incoherently.
The L.A. Times reported that police responded to several callers [who] reported that the male removed his underwear and was nude, perhaps masturbating.
Russell was subsequently taken to a mental-health facility for observation, but what caused his breakdown? Danica Russell, Jason Russell's wife, said in a statement on Friday that drugs and alcohol were not factors in the incident. She noted that Jason Russell did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration.
The exhaustion was brought on by the overnight success of the Kony 2012 documentary. The video was uploaded on YouTube on March 5, and it has been viewed by more than 80 million people. Invisible Children aims to raise awareness of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord's Resistence Army. Kony has kidnapped thousands of children in Uganda since the late 1990s, allegedly forcing them to join the army or serve as sex slaves.
Ben Keesey, CEO of Invisible Children, released a statement saying that Russell is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.
The campaign came under attack when critics said that the film oversimplifies the issue, misrepresents the country, and is factually inaccurate, the New York Daily News reported.
TMZ has footage of Jason Russell's meltdown.