Leading talent agency United Talent Agency announced earlier this week that it would scrap its annual pre-Oscar party this year as a gesture of support for immigrants and refugees in the wake of President Trump’s now-blocked travel ban.
Instead of the party, Deadline reported earlier this week, UTA announced it would tender a $250,000 donation to the American Civil Liberties Union and the International Rescue Committee, and hold a rally outside its headquarters on Feb. 24 dubbed United Voices. The rally will aim to express support for refugees, immigrants, and a “global exchange of ideas,” per Deadline. (UTA also represents Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who is up for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for The Salesman, and who said he won’t be attending this year’s ceremony in light of the ban).
UTA also launched a crowdfunding campaign to benefit the aforementioned organizations, which has thus far raised $268,328.
And now, youth-skewing digital media company AwesomenessTV has thrown its hat into the ring. “In today’s political climate, civil rights are being compromised and our creators and global audiences are facing obstacles as they pursue their dreams,” wrote top execs Brian Robbins and Brett Bouttier today in a memo to staffers. “We understand the power of our collective influence and know that together we can create change.”
Therefore, Awesomeness will close its offices early on Feb. 24 and provide transportation to the United Voices rally. The company is also encouraging employees to use their voices on social media to contribute to the conversation. “In addition,” Robbins and Bouttier wrote, “we will be making a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union and International Rescue Committee.”