After we all saw police officer Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd, protests and riots erupted in America and around the world. And the central theme of these protests is to raise awareness that black lives matter and our need for a national discussion about police brutality.
In the wake of this controversy, many celebrities saw fit to donate to various Black Lives Matter organizations. But which celebs donated, and which organizations do they prefer? We’ve got all the deets here.
The Weeknd donated an impressive $500,000 to various Black Lives Matter organizations, and he shared the receipts on Instagram!
This included $200,000 to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, $200,000 to the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, and $100,000 to National Bail Out.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West
Perhaps the biggest celebrity donation came from rapper and mogul Kanye West. He donated $2 million to support the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
This includes establishing a 529 education plan to fully cover college tuition for George Floyd’s six-year-old daughter Gianna Floyd.
The donation also funds legal fees for the families of Arbery and Taylor. Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man, was murdered by three white men when he went out for a jog in February. Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was shot and killed during a police raid in her home in March. Her family has filed a lawsuit alleging that police entered her home without knocking or announcing themselves and “proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
Kanye’s donation will also fund black-owned business in various cities including his native Chicago. While Kanye did not post about his donation on Twitter, a representative shared the news with CNN.
Meanwhile, his wife Kim Kardashian West announced that her companies are making donations to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Urban League, and Color of Change.
In addition to being an iconic musician, Rihanna is also a business mogul thanks to her insanely successful Fenty line of cosmetics. And she was able to leverage both of these roles to take a powerful stand in support of Black Lives Matter.
First, she closed her entire business on #BlackoutTuesday to show her solidarity with the entire black community. Second, her company Fenty pledged donations to both Color Of Change and Movement For Black Lives in a statement. Fenty also tweeted they are supporting Rihanna’s charity the Clara Lionel Foundation as well as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
This news came in the form of a powerful and inspirational Fenty statement. “Fenty as a brand was created to elevate beauty, power and freedom. At this very moment racists are attempting to rip those values away from black people and we will not stand by and let that happen. We are too powerful, creative and resilient.”
An important thing about activism is that each group plays its own part. And some protesters across the nation may be more vulnerable than others. That’s why Drake put his time and his money into helping some very special people.
That’s why he donated $100,000 to National Bail Out. This organization focuses on bailing out black caregivers and black mothers. By helping out these individuals, Drake is able to help out countless family members across the nation.
Drake shared the receipt to his Instagram story, and singer-songwriter Mustafa the Poet, who had encouraged Drake to donate, shared a screenshot of it on Twitter.
Seth Rogen is famous for his particularly vulgar style of humor. It’s only fitting that his activism comes with a side order of acidic online sarcasm!
Rogen joined many other celebrities in donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. The purpose of that organization is clear: to help provide bail for protesters who have recently been arrested within the state of Minnesota.
On top of this, he posted a Black Lives Matter graphic to his Instagram and said fans should unfollow him if they found it “remotely controversial.” When followers pushed back against this message, Rogen told them off in brutally (and hilariously) vulgar ways.
Steve Carrell joined with Seth Rogen, Ben Schwartz, and others in donating to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, tweeting a simple message, “Matched,” to show that he was matching a donation.
Carrell’s brevity didn’t keep Twitter from having some fun with the news. Another Twitter user retweeted him with the caption, “He couldn’t give those kids the scholarships but he made up for it with this. KING.”
Of course, this references an episode of The Office called “Scott’s Tots,” in which Carell’s character Michael Scott pledges to send underprivileged black kids to college, and then reneges years later due to not becoming a millionaire like he thought he would be. If you’ve ever cringed through the episode, maybe Carrell’s donation will give you a bit of closure.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are one of Hollywood’s biggest power couples. As a tongue-in-cheek reaction to Trump’s declaration of #MAGANight against protesters, Chrissy Teigen tweeted the following. “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.”
The drama didn’t stop there, though. A follower told her she was supporting “rioters and criminals.” Teigen sarcastically replied, “Ooo they might need more money then. Make it $200,000.”
Eventually, Legend specified that he and Teigen would be donating to The Bail Project, Movement 4 Black Lives, and The National Lawyers Guild.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
Ryan Reynolds may be famous for playing superheroes like Green Lantern and Deadpool, but it turns out he’s a hero in real life as well. That’s because he and his wife (and fellow star) Blake Lively donated $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The pair also made a passionate statement via Instagram about the need for education and compassion in combating systemic racism. And they wrapped things up by saying, “It’s the least we can do to honour not just George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Eric Garner, but all the black men and women who have been killed when a camera wasn’t rolling.”
Ellen DeGeneres has a history of falling into and out of controversy. And sure enough, her eventual donation followed yet another online controversy surrounding this TV star turned talk show host.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, she posted the following statement to Instagram. “Like so many of you, I am angry and I am sad. People of color in this country have faced injustice for far too long. For things to change, things must change. We must commit ourselves to this change with conviction and love.”
Twitter users took Ellen to task for being vague in her message, so Ellen deleted the original post.
In a new post, Ellen specified her support for “the protestors who are exercising their rights and standing up against the horrible injustices that Black people in America face everyday.” Putting her money where her mouth was, Ellen made donations to the ACLU, the NAACP, and to the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Most of the celebs on this list donated to these causes simply out of the compassion of their hearts. However, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz joined a growing number of celebrities who felt downright obligated to donate. That’s because they portray police officers in television shows or movies.
Former Blue Bloods actor Griffin Newman got this started, and Beatriz took up the call. Each of them donated $11,000 to the Community Justice exchange, and they stated donations are appropriate for any actor who makes “tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in residuals from playing a cop.”
In addition, the entire cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine collectively donated collectively donated $100,000 to the National Bail Fund network.