In the wake of criticism surrounding rapper Travis Scott’s four-tiered initiative called Project HEAL, Scott’s attorneys have filed new paperwork on the musician’s behalf.
According to rolling stoneIn response to a motion filed Wednesday seeking to maintain a gag order on Scott, following hundreds of lawsuits after last November’s deadly Astroworld concert that resulted in the deaths of 10 attendees, Scott’s attorneys are defending his right to “make public statements about his ongoing philanthropic work, even in regards to public safety” and argued that it would be “too broad” for the judge to include Scott’s ability to speak about his new charity in order to gag.
Scott’s lawyers wrote in the new filing obtained by the outlet: “It also goes against the First Amendment, which guarantees parties like Mr. Scott the right to speak publicly about significant philanthropic work that began long before the Astroworld Festival or…almost immediately after.”
Earlier this week, the grandparents of the youngest victim of the Astroworld tragedy called Travis Scott’s recent effort to launch a new $5 million philanthropic project supporting safety at large live events. scale, “a publicity stunt”.
The grandmother of Ezra Blount, who is one of the victims of the event, which saw a crowd in Houston at the now infamous Astroworld Festival trample multiple victims as Scott continued the show amid the chaos, shot in derision of Scott’s new “Project HEAL” on Wednesday. (March 9).
And attorneys representing Ezra’s father have reportedly filed an emergency motion alleging breach of a court-ordered gag order.
Ezra’s family believe Scott’s efforts are just a publicity effort to deflect blame. Ezra was only 9 years old.
Scott’s initiative allocates funds to the United States Conference of Mayors Task Force on Event Security and a “technology-driven solution” to address security changes at major major events.
“It’s a publicity stunt. He pretty much tries to sway jurors before they’re even assembled,” the Texas-based grandmother told the outlet, “He tries to make himself look good, but that doesn’t sound like someone. one with our eyes. What we see is that he did the wrong thing, and now he’s trying to be the good guy and trying to give his own verdict on safety.
Ezra is one of 10 people who died from events that began during Scott’s filming at Astroworld in November 2021.
Robert Hilliard, lead attorney for Ezra’s father, Treston Blount, said in a court filing Wednesday that Scott’s efforts are “designed to gain goodwill and harm the ability of Blount and other plaintiffs to obtain a fair trial in this case”.
As American Songwriter reported, Scott’s four-tier initiative called Project HEAL will support community philanthropic initiatives supporting youth in a series of specific gifts, including $1 million in scholarships for college students and historically black universities (HBCUs). As part of the program, the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund will provide $10,000 scholarships to HBCU seniors to help pay for their continuing education.
“My grandfather was an educator who made a difference in thousands of young lives throughout his life,” Scott said in a statement. “He is a major influence on me and countless others, whose dreams he believed in, invested in and made great futures of. It is in his spirit that we create projects and programs who will look to the future of our communities and create hope and excellence in as many lives as possible.
The second part of Scott’s initiative will focus on young people struggling with mental health issues and will fund digital counseling services and helplines offering free support to low-income families in collaboration with Dr. Janice Beal, director of programming for “Well Being In Color,” a mental health center health education service for students of color.
Scott will also work to expand his own CACT.US Youth Design Center, described as a “non-profit creative space for young artists, designers, tech innovators, including free studio space, co-working space , tool spaces, vocational and apprenticeship training, youth education and events.”
Project HEAL’s fourth and final initiative will address security at large-scale live events, with Scott funding the Event Security Task Force of the United States Conference of Mayors, a collective of stakeholders from various levels government, public health, event management and emergency response. . As part of the program, the task force will address security challenges faced by future large-scale events and issue a comprehensive report of security recommendations.
In the wake of the Astroworld tragedy, thousands of lawsuits were filed against Scott, including 400 that were consolidated into one larger lawsuit.
“Over the past few months I have taken the time and space to grieve, reflect and do my part to heal my community,” Scott said. “Most importantly, I want to use my resources and my platform to move forward towards real change. This will be a journey of a lifetime for me and my family.