Empire star Taraji P. Henson rented out a theater so that low-income families in Chicago could have a nice night out to go see her new film, Hidden Figures, in an act of generosity. Henson tweeted about her charitable gesture on Fri. Jan. 20.
“Chicago, this Sunday, see #HiddenFigures on me,” Henson wrote. “This is a must-see movie and I want to give those that may not otherwise have the chance the opportunity to see this powerful film. First come, first serve.”
Hidden Figures is based on the real lives of three African-American mathematicians: Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, who were an essential part of the team that helped NASA launch their first successful space missions.
Taraji P. Henson rented out a theater in the Southwest side of Chicago. According to The Chicago Tribune, the screening was “scheduled for 2 p.m. at AMC Ford City 14 in West Lawn. Screenings are also set for Washington, D.C. and Georgia.”
While that is a nice gesture, it is worth noting that Henson’s act of kindness is not unique among the cast. In fact, it would seem that Taraji P. Henson rented out the theater, after being inspired by her Hidden Figures co-star, Octavia Spencer’s act of kindness.
During the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Spencer bought up every single available ticket at a theater in L.A. so that low income families could enjoy the movie. Octavia Spencer also announced her generous deed via social media, and urged people to spread the word.
“Tomorrow I’ve bought the 8pm showing of #hiddenfigures the rave Baldwin hills,” wrote Spencer. “If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can’t afford it have them come. It’s first come first served. My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I’m honoring her and all single parents this #mlkweekend Pass the word.”
A photo posted by taraji p henson (@tarajiphenson) on
Jim Parsons, who also stars in Hidden Figures as Paul Stafford, was also bitten with the charitable bug. According to a tweet by Octavia Spencer, Jim gave away an undisclosed amount of free tickets to moviegoers in Houston, Texas.
— octavia spencer (@octaviaspencer) January 21, 2017
Some negative nancies, a few loud commenters on social media have scoffed at the cast’s charitable acts and reduced it as a way to inflate their ticket sales. However, a few hundred tickets won’t affect the overall gross of the film, which just surpassed 84 million dollars, with the overwhelming majority being organic sales.
Aside from the exceptionally talented cast, Hidden Figures is just worth seeing. It’s important story that’s been a long time coming. Three women, two whom are sadly no longer with us, who have probably never been mentioned in High School History classes, yet turned out play an essential role in getting the U.S to space, are finally getting their just due.
It’s amazing that these stars have really embraced the meaning of the film, and have chosen to give back, instead of just focusing on themselves. Other Hollywood film actors, especially those with deeper pockets than some of the Hidden Figures cast, could learn a thing or two.
Taraji P. Henson rented out a theater, as did Octavia Spencer. Meanwhile, Jim Parsons gave away free tickets to people in need, so that they could witness this historic moment in history, that’s over sixty years in the making.
What do you think of these charitable acts? Let us know in the comment section below.
[Featured Image By Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]