Rapper 50 Cent just shelled out a $100,000 donation to Autism Speaks. His generosity to the organization comes amid strong internet backlash after he mocked a 19-year-old autistic man on social media.
Just earlier this week, a video posted by the rapper himself showed him openly mocking an autistic young man who works at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. In the controversial video, the rapper-turned-actor was seen complaining about the youth of today.
The highlight of the video showed 50 Cent verbally accosting recent high school graduate Andrew Farrell, who is working as a custodian at the airport.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) May 6, 2016
The video itself contained some coarse language coming from the rapper, whose name is Curtis Jackson III in real life. The opening part of the video shows 50 Cent talking straight to the camera while saying that “the new generation is crazy.”
Oddly, the statement was shared via social media, which in essence was created by the “new generation.” The rapper even went on to say, “they crazy,” referring, of course, to the youth.
Later in the video, the rapper was seen approaching Farrell, who was quietly pushing his custodial cart along the airport’s corridor. Rapper 50 Cent went and asked for his name, to which Farrell responded with a head shake as he continued pushing his cart along the corridor.
The young man looked very uncomfortable as he kept his eyes straight ahead. However, 50 Cent ignored Farrell’s apparent discomfort as he continued to follow him with his camera.
While doing this, the rapper went on to say, “Look at him… What kinda s— you think he took before he got to work today? he high as a … [obscenity] … right here in the airport, pupil dilated everything, lookin’ like.”
The rapper tried hard to get a good shot on Farrell’s face but the 19-year-old just shook his head while trying his best to look away and not be captured. The rapper finished off the video with, “The new generation is … [obscenity] … crazy.”
The rapper, who apparently considers himself a cultural critic, immediately uploaded the video on his Instagram account on Sunday. The backlash started after another Instagram user, who happened to know Farrell, personally aired his disappointment about the situation.
He wrote: “I went to school with him. He has extreme social difficulties just to let you know. He has a hard enough time getting through life without people like you making fun of him. I hope you feel good about yourself. You just lost a huge fan.”
After that, 50 Cent backtracked on his actions as he tried to make amends with Farrell’s family and his fans by donating $100,000 to Autism Speaks. The said donation to the foundation was a request of Farrell’s parents.
— billboard (@billboard) May 5, 2016
The Farrell family also released a statement saying, “A great lesson can be learned from this heartbreaking situation. Regardless of the way that another person appears to you, it is never okay to publicly humiliate them via social media.”
“We hope that this situation brings more awareness to what people with autism and other forms of social anxiety suffer through on a daily basis,” they added.
The Farrell family also thanked their growing number of supporters.
50 Cent ‘donates $100k to Autism charity’ after mocking teen Asperger’s sufferer in Instagram video https://t.co/VDNW7YUXWT
— Daily Mail Celebrity (@DailyMailCeleb) May 5, 2016
The controversy and 50 Cent’s subsequent donation to Autism Speaks come after the rapper’s premium liquor brand, Effen Vodka, was boycotted by local Cincinnati bars. This took place during recent promotional events such as the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Randall’s Wine & Spirits.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson continued to make amends by “calling on his fellow musicians, actors, entertainers and all others who may not have fully considered this cause to join to help in any way they can.”
50 Cent Shames Airport Employee with Autism
[Photo by Matthew Eisman / Getty Images]