50 Cent Donates $100,000 to Autism Speaks Following Instagram Controversy
Earlier this week, 50 Cent posted a video mocking an autistic 19-year-old working at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, and the backlash that followed has now led him to donate $100,000 to Autism Speaks. The generous gift comes after local bars in Cincinnati reportedly boycotted the rapper's premium liquor brand Effen Vodka while promotional events, like a Cinco de Mayo event at Randall's Wine & Spirits, was canceled, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"I want to turn this misunderstanding into an understanding," he said in a statement sent to Billboard on Thursday (May 5). "There are people that are ignored, mistreated and neglected with disabilities that need our support. Today, I have made a donation of $100,000 to this worthy cause through Autism Speaks." In the Instagram clip that has since been deleted, the MC (real name Curtis Jackson) suggests that the airport employee, Andrew Farrell -- who suffers from autism, Asperger's Syndrome and severe hearing loss -- is "high."
Effen Vodka also weighed in on 50's recent controversy, offering in a statement to Billboard, "As a brand that considers social responsibility the highest of priorities, Effen Vodka does not condone the recent behavior of 50 Cent. We have expressed to him our profound disappointment for his actions, which are in no way representative of the brand's values."
For a rapper famously known for being shot nine times, he doesn't take hits lying down. After his donation, he also encouraged, "I am calling on my fellow musicians, actors, entertainers and all others who may not have fully considered this cause to join together to help in any way they can."