By Jake Dima and Peter Hasson
More than a dozen of the world’s most famous celebrities are financing left-wing organizations that openly seek the defunding of America’s police departments, a Daily Caller News Foundation review found.
Actors, models and singers have donated large sums to left-wing organizations including Color of Change, Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Movement for Black Lives, all of which are open about their desire to defund police departments across the country.
The Movement for Black Lives aims to abolish not only police departments, but America’s prisons as well, the organization explains on its website. “We believe that prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives,” the website states.
Black Lives Matter Global Network, the national arm of Black Lives Matter, released a statement on May 30 calling for “a national defunding of police.” The organization published a video on June 6 arguing that “defunding the police is the only way to stop pouring resources into a system that doesn’t keep us safe.”
Color of Change is leading a petition campaign that demands elected officials across the country “defund the police, and invest in communities now!”
“Policing is a violent institution that must end. We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision,” Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said after the Minneapolis City Council voted to “dismantle” the city’s police department.
The three groups have reeled in high-dollar donations from many of the world’s most famous celebrities following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, according to video.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio donated an unknown amount to four social justice organizations, including Color of Change, he announced in a June 4 Instagram post. DiCaprio has previously faced scrutiny for flying on private jets despite positioning himself as an environmentalist. DiCaprio’s personal foundation didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Olivia Culpo said she will be donating profits from her swimsuit line to Color of Change, the New York Post reported, citing Culpo’s Instagram. Culpo’s publicists didn’t return an email seeking comment.
The singer Justin Bieber’s clothing line, Drew House, announced “a donation to Color of Change” in June as well. Drew House didn’t return the DCNF’s request for comment.
The singer Rihanna’s cosmetics company, Fenty, pledged donations to the Movement for Black Lives and Color of Change.
“In support of the black community, we will be donating funds to Colour [sic] Of Change and Movement For Black Lives,” Fenty announced in a June 2 tweet. Fenty didn’t return a request for comment through its publicist.
Talk show host Ellen Degeneres on May 31 announced donations to three left-wing organizations, including Black Lives Matter, and urged her nearly 80 million Twitter followers to do the same. DeGeneres’s publicist didn’t return repeated phone calls seeking comment.
I support the protestors who are exercising their rights and standing up against the horrible injustices that Black people in America face everyday.#BlackLivesMatter
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 31, 2020
Actress Jennifer Aniston donated $1 million to Color of Change, The Daily Mirror reported in June, citing a source close to Aniston. The actress also promotedthe group to her more than 35 million Instagram followers.
Another source told the Mirror later in June that actor Brad Pitt, Aniston’s former husband, matched her donation with his own $1 million gift to Color of Change. The Creative Artists Agency, which represents both Pitt and Aniston, didn’t return emails seeking comment.
Canadian singer The Weekend donated $200,000 to Black Lives Matter Global Network, he announced in a June 2 Instagram post. The rapper, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, included a receipt for the donation in the post. He didn’t return a request for comment sent through his agent.
Kylie Jenner’s makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics, announced a donation to several social justice groups, including Black Lives Matter. Jenner’s publicist didn’t return an email seeking comment.
The singer John Legend announced in a May 31 tweet that he and his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, would be donating to three organizations “which are organizing, supporting and defending those marching for justice,” including the Movement for Black Lives. Neither Legend’s agent nor Teigen’s publicist returned requests for comment.
Americans have the first amendment right to peacefully protest oppression and injustice. Chrissy and I will be donating to these 3 organizations which are organizing, supporting and defending those marching for justice: @Mvmnt4BlkLives @nlgnews @bailproject https://t.co/whxOPQQuTu
— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 31, 2020
Rock band Paramore donated $25,000 spread across three social justice organizations, including Black Lives Matter Nashville, the band announced in a June 1 Instagram post. Black Lives Matter Nashville is part of a coalition demanding the defunding of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. Paramore’s agent didn’t return an email seeking comment.
MacKenzie Bezos, the billionaire ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced on July 28 that she had donated nearly $1.7 billion across 116 organizations, including the Movement for Black Lives. The DCNF was unable to reach her for comment.
Lady Gaga donated to Black Lives Matter and Color of Change, along with eight other social justice organizations, the singer announced in a June 4 Instagram post. The amount she gave to the groups remains unclear. Her agent didn’t return a request for comment.
K-pop group BTS pledged a $1 million donation to Black Lives Matter in June, CNN reported. The group’s manager didn’t return the DCNF’s email seeking comment.
WWE star John Cena matched the BTS donation with his own $1 million gift to Black Lives Matter, Cena announced in a June 8 tweet. Cena’s agent didn’t return a request for comment.
Actor and director Jordan Peele and his company, Monkeypaw Productions, pledged $1 million to five social justice organizations, including Black Lives Matter. A June 10 press release from Monkeypaw described the five organizations as “essential to the health and lives of Black people.” Peele’s agent didn’t return a request for comment.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) June 10, 2020
Actress Anna Kendrick announced in a June 2 Instagram post that she had donated to 11 social justice groups including Black Lives Matter and Color of Change. Kendrick’s agent didn’t return a request for comment.
“If you can, please join me in donating,” Kendrick, who played a police officer’s girlfriend in the 2012 film “End of Watch,” told her nearly 17 million Instagram followers.
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