Celebrities don’t always get it right. Sometimes, in a crisis, they tweet asinine observations that garner substantial clap-back. Other times, they make cultural appropriation faux pas that haunt them for years to come. But every once in a while, they throw massive amounts of money at a problem, which few of us can afford to do, or actually show up and use their clout to bring people together. Such is the case in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who was recently killed by Minneapolis police. Over the past two weeks, celebrities have been calling out racism online, marching in Black Lives Matter protests, and making donations to social justice organizations in dizzying amounts. These are just a handful of famous people who are standing up to help the black community.
Cover Photo: Rich Fury / Staff (Getty Images)
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Celebrities George Floyd
The actor jetted off to Minneapolis to address a press conference and to support demonstrators protesting George Floyd’s murder by police. “All I wanted to do is let you know we not afraid to stand,” Foxx said to the crowd. “We are not afraid of the moment.”
The basketball Hall of Famer, along with his Nike brand, has pledged $100 million over the next decade to various charitable organizations focused on equality, making it the largest corporate donation made in honor of George Floyd.
Mr. Beyonce Knowles called up Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to tell him "justice needs to be served here" and to urge him to assign Attorney General Keith Ellison to the George Floyd case. He was successful. “I am human, a father and a black man in pain and I am not the only one. Now I, along with an entire country in pain, call upon AG Ellison to do the right thing and prosecute all those responsible for the murder of George Floyd to the fullest extent of the law," Jay-Z later said in a statement.
The rapper with a reputation for politically-incorrect tirades has donated $2 million to various charities in the name of victims Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. West also promised to pay legal fees for Arbery’s and Taylor’s families as well as establish a college fund for Floyd's 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. In addition to putting his money where his mouth rarely is (as a notorious Trump supporter), West protested in a march on Chicago's South Side.
Kim Kardashian West
The entrepreneur announced that she and her many companies will donate to Black Lives Matter, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Urban League, and Color of Change.
Former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather reached out to George Floyd’s family to offer to pay for funeral expenses; they accepted.
Michael B. Jordan
The actor known for social justice-focused films like
Just Mercy and Fruitvale Station joined a Black Lives Matter march over the weekend in Beverly Hills. What's more, in honor of the demonstrations, Just Mercy is streaming for free for the entire month of June on Amazon Prime and Google Play.
The American pop singer has been omnipresent at demonstrations and even administered first aid to injured protesters. "I have first-hand treated men, women and children who have been shot in the chest, the face, the back," she said. "Some will lose vision, some have lost fingers. I have been covered in innocent blood."
The actor, director, producer, and activist penned an essay about racism for The Daily Beast in which he compared police brutality to a pandemic. "It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine," he wrote. "It seems we’ve stopped even looking for one and we just try to treat the wound on an individual basis. And we sure haven’t done a very good job of that." He called on readers to vote in order to inspire change.
The former model, cookbook author, and social media star Chrissy Teigen has offered up $200,000 to bail out protestors arrested during protests across the U.S. in response to Donald Trump declaring MAGA Night at the White House. "In celebration of whatever the f--- maga night is, I am committed to donating $100,000 to the bail outs of protestors across the country," Teigen initially tweeted. After a commenter called the protesters “rioters and criminals,” she added, "Ooo they might need more money then. Make it $200,000. "
Star Wars actor marched with protesters in London. "Black lives have always mattered," Boyega said. "We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting. I ain't waiting."
The rapper dropped $100,000 on National Bail Out, an organization that fights back against the mass incarceration of black people.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
The celebrity couple has vowed to “stay educated” and use their “privilege and platform to be an ally,” beginning with a $200,000 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.