Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay to attend Flint event on Oscar night

LOS ANGELES -- "Creed" director Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay, Janelle Monae and other Hollywood celebrities have big plans for Oscar night.

See Full Article

But they have nothing to do with the Academy Awards. Coogler and company will be 3,700 kilometres away in Flint, Michigan, participating in a benefit for residents affected by the town's lead-contaminated water crisis.

DuVernay, Monae and others tweeted Tuesday about their involvement in the Sunday night event, which is being called #JusticeForFlint. Hosted by comedian Hannibal Buress, the free show will serve as both a fundraiser and an awareness campaign, complete with performances and testimonials. Revolt.tv plans to stream it live.

About the same time on Sunday night, Coogler's "Creed" is a favourite to win the best supporting actor Oscar for Sylvester Stallone's reprise of his iconic Rocky character. It was the sole nomination for the critically acclaimed film, which many saw as yet another example of how the film academy is out of step with today's audiences.

This year's Academy Awards are again embroiled in a diversity crisis stemming from a second straight year of all-white acting nominees, now symbolized by the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Outrage over the Oscars' all-white slates has included calls for a boycott of the ceremony from Hollywood notables like Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith, and it prompted the academy to announce sweeping changes to their membership rules.

Although Coogler and DuVernay have been at the centre of the ongoing discussions about diversity in the entertainment industry, it was unclear whether they had ever planned to join the Oscar boycott or whether the simultaneous timing of the #JusticeForFlint show was at all related to the boycott or just a coincidence.

Representatives for Coogler and DuVernay did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Earlier this month, Stallone said he asked Coogler whether he should attend the Oscars in light of the boycott talk. Stallone said Coogler told him he should go and represent the film.

The uniting force behind the Flint event is Blackout for Human Rights, a collective founded by Coogler that is committed to addressing human rights violations and injustices in the United States. The organization boasts a number of notable members, including DuVernay, actor and musician Donald Glover, "Selma" lead actor David Oyelowo and Nate Parker, director and star of the upcoming "The Birth of a Nation."


Latest Entertainment News

  • Hedley plays final show before 'indefinite hiatus'

    Entertainment CTV News
    KELOWNA, B.C. - Fans of embattled Vancouver pop-rockers Hedley were handing out flyers in support of the band ahead of what could be their last concert in Kelowna, B.C. The group announced they'd be going on an "indefinite hiatus" earlier this month under a cloud of sexual misconduct allegations against frontman Jacob Hoggard. Source
  • Taylor Swift gets political with anti-gun message

    Entertainment CTV News
    Taylor Swift, the American pop star long accused of sidestepping politics to broaden her appeal, waded into the gun control debate Friday with a clear message: guns don’t belong in schools. Swift used her Instagram account Friday to throw her support behind March For Our Lives, an anti-gun protest taken up in the wake of the Parkland, Fla. Source
  • Mister Rogers honoured with postage stamp from the US Postal Service

    Entertainment CBC News
    It's a beautiful day to honour Mister Rogers with a postage stamp. The U.S. Postal Service has released a stamp featuring Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Source
  • Remai Modern defends artist whose Indigenous heritage has been questioned

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Remai Modern's director is defending the decision to feature a retrospective of Jimmie Durham's work. The world-renowned artist self-identifies as a Cherokee, but his heritage has been questioned. Much of Durham's work depicts Native American themes and uses materials often found in Indigenous work, like wood and bone, metals, and beads. Source
  • 15th defence lawyer in Suge Knight's murder case leaves

    Entertainment CTV News
    Attorney Matthew Fletcher, left, speaks for his client, Marion "Suge" Knight, right, in a court appearance for a bail review hearing in his murder case in Los Angeles in this file photo from March 20, 2015. Authorities say the high-profile Los Angeles attorney, Fletcher, has been arrested. Source
  • T-shirts, flowers showing support banned at Cosby retrial

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA - People attending Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial won't be allowed in with T-shirts, flowers and other items that show support for one side or the other. The trial judge issued the ban Thursday. Source
  • Neil Young says 'Paradox' film has a message about a music crisis

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Beneath all the whimsy in Neil Young's trippy new dystopian Western "Paradox" lies a serious message about a "crisis" facing the music industry, says the Canadian rock great. Actress Daryl Hannah wrote and directed the surreal Netflix film, in which prospectors looking for old technology jam on guitars and ruminate on the importance of music and "the seeds of life" in the Rocky Mountains. Source
  • Fire breaks out on Edward Norton movie set in Harlem, 1 firefighter dies

    Entertainment CBC News
    A New York City firefighter died after he became separated from his unit as they battled a fierce, smoky blaze that broke out in the basement of a former Harlem jazz club being used as a film set. Source
  • Four-time Juno nominee Jessie Reyez on why she refuses to shun awards shows

    Entertainment CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Jessie Reyez is a leading contender heading into this weekend's Junos, but the breakout singer says she's not letting the awards buzz go to her head. "The last thing I want to do is get too happy," the fiery 27-year-old musician said of her four nominations -- a tally matched only by rockers Arcade Fire this year. Source
  • Anton Yelchin's family settles lawsuit over death of Star Trek actor

    Entertainment CBC News
    The parents of Anton Yelchin have reached a settlement with the makers of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the SUV that crushed and killed the Star Trek actor in his driveway in 2016. The confidential settlement agreement between Victor and Irina Yelchin and Fiat Chrysler was filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court. Source