Stars Skip Oscars to Raise Money for 'Creed' Director's #JusticeForFlint Event

by Jackie Willis 4:12 AM PST, February 29, 2016
Photo: Instagram

While Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone were representing their movie Creed at Sunday's Oscars, the film's director was putting on another star-studded event in Flint, Michigan.

Ryan Coogler held a benefit called #JUSTICEFORFLINT to raise awareness about the city's water crisis. The event streamed live and was free for anyone to attend, and while it did fall on Oscars Sunday, Coogler insisted that it was all a coincidence. The director said his activist group, Blackout for Human Rights, decided on that date because it was the last Sunday in Black History Month.

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Comedian Hannibal Buress hosted the event and stars, including Selma director Ava DuVernay and Grey's Anatomy's Jesse Williams, showed up in support. Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monáe also performed at the benefit.

Lit. #JusticeForFlint @janellemonae

A video posted by Jesse Williams (@ijessewilliams) on

DuVernay revealed on Twitter that they went well over their fundraising goal of $100,000, but encouraged her followers to keep donating to the cause. "Activists continue to donate to #JusticeForFlint hours after our show ended," she tweeted. "The tally is now $133k from 3306 donations. For Flint. Onward!"

"Thank you Flint. Thank you all for the generosity of spirit," Williams tweeted. "Straight forward. #JUSTICEFORFLINT #ProudCollaborator @UnitedBlackout"

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"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," Coogler told BuzzFeed prior to the event. "Through the live stream we will also give a chance for people around the world to participate, and to donate funds to programs for Flint's youth."

To donate, text JUSTICE to 83224.

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While these stars were raising money for Flint, Chris Rock was addressing the diversity issues in Hollywood head-on in his Oscars monologue. Check it out: