The CEO Sleepout is a charity initiative from the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Every year, CEOs from across Australia come together to "sleep out" for one night, donating money to the charity and experiencing for themselves how thousands of homeless Australians live every day.
The 2017 CEO Sleepout began on Thursday, with hundreds of CEOs parking themselves in locations across Australia's major cities. They were provided with cardboard to lie on and tried their best to sleep through the cold winter night. Good on them.
However, one aspect of the event has caused outrage online, after the CEO Sleepout Twitter account posted a video of CEOs using virtual reality (VR) to "get a glimpse of the realities faced by the people who experience this every day."
The VR setup was almost immediately criticised on social media as"tone deaf" and "vile poverty porn."
The CEO Sleepout has raised almost $5 million and will provide assistance to those experiencing homelessness. The charity hopes to help thousands of young and old Australians find a way out of the cycle of homelessness.
BuzzFeed News has contacted CEO Sleepout for comment.