Directors Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler skipped out on the Oscars this year, hosting a fundraiser for the citizens of Flint instead!According to UPI, the event, named #JusticeForFlint, was held on the same night as the Oscars (Feb. 28), and raised over $100,000 for the city as they still deal with terrible water contamination. #JusticeForFlint was presented by Ryan’s own activist group, Blackout for Human Rights, and was hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress.
“With the #JusticeForFlint benefit event we will give a voice to the members of the community who were the victims of the choices of people in power who are paid to protect them, as well as provide them with a night of entertainment, unity, and emotional healing,” Ryan said to BuzzFeed before the event.
Ava herself denied that the event took place on Oscars Sunday to highlight the diversity issue in Hollywood. “A lot of these people care nothing about these Oscars and it’s not their world,” she said to The Hollywood Reporter about the event’s organizers. “It happens to be me and Ryan’s world. When it came up that this was a possible date it felt wrong to say, ‘No, guys. Let’s not do this date because there’s something happening in L.A.'”
The event featured musical performances from Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monae, Estelle, Vic Mensa, Jazmine Sullivan and Musiq Soulchild. “The reality is we all need water. That’s a human right,” Stevie said during his surprise performance. “And it should be clean water! One requires accountability. If it goes down bad, someone’s gotta go,” he continued, calling for the resignation of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Truly proud that Ava, Ryan, and the other organizers were able to reach this goal! Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to the citizens of Flint.
Image via A.V. Club