Travis Scott is still under scrutiny for his alleged role in the Astroworld Festival tragedy, though he’s clearly put in significant effort over the past few months to sway public opinion. This morning, the rapper announced Project Heal –– a $5M philanthropic initiative focusing on concert safety. The initiative focuses on providing funding towards event safety including tech solutions that could prevent a similar situation from unfolding at future events.
Unfortunately, not everyone feels this is a genuine deed to help with large-scale events in the future. Tericia Blount, the grandmother of 9-year-old Ezra Blount who died at the festival, called out Travis Scott in an interview with Rolling Stone for “trying to sway the jurors.”
“It’s a PR stunt. He’s pretty much trying to sway the jurors before they’re even assembled,” Blount said. “He’s trying to make himself look good, but it doesn’t look that way to someone with our eyes. What we’re seeing is that he’s done wrong, and now he’s trying to be the good guy and trying to give his own verdict on safety.”
Bernon Blount, Ezra’s grandfather, added, “Every time he does something like this, it’s an ongoing reminder.”
Treston Blount, Ezra’s father, filed the lawsuit against Travis Scott. His lawyer responded to the rapper’s philanthropic effort, describing it as a move to “gain goodwill and prejudice Blount.” “Blount and the other plaintiffs herein do not have the high profile ability to sway public opinion as defendant Scott — an international music star — and his sophisticated media team do,” Blount’s lawyer, Robertt Hilliard, wrote in an emergency motion, asking the judge to clarify whether the gag order equally applicable to all parties involved in the case.
Scott’s rep, Stephanie Rawlings Blake, said it was “beyond cynical” that Hilliard would accuse the rapper of violating the gag order Judge Kristen Hawkins signed off on in February. “It is also disappointing that Mr. Hilliard would attack Project HEAL, a series of philanthropic gestures designed to give students and young people a leg up. Project HEAL is a continuation of Travis Scott’s longstanding work, including academic scholarships and creative design programs for underprivileged students,” Blake added.