Travis Scott Responds to Critics Who Claim ‘Project HEAL’ is a ‘PR Stunt’ to Clean Up Image Amid Astroworld Lawsuits

Earlier this week, rapper Travis Scott announced a $5 million initiative titled Project HEAL. The 30-year-old, whose Astroworld Music Festival left 10 patrons dead and dozens more injured, is looking to address “challenges facing today’s youth, especially those from marginalized and at-risk communities,” according to the Project HEAL website. The initiative with the Cactus Jack Foundation will have a focus on mental health resources, academic scholarships and more. However, many critics have slammed the Houston, Texas, native, including families of the victims affected by the incident, who have accused the “Sicko Mode” rapper of using charitable effort as a ploy to smooth over his image amid the tragedy.  

TMZ reported that the family members of Ezra Blount, a 9-year-old who died from his injuries after being trampled during the chaos, requested a gag order be put in place to bar the rapper from announcing any future philanthropic efforts, claiming it could taint the potential jury pool in their lawsuits against the Grammy Award-nominated artist.

Blount’s father Treston told the outlet that Project HEAL was nothing more than a “highly sophisticated marketing campaign.” However, in a recent Instagram, the rapper denied those allegations. 

In a lengthy statement, alongside a breakdown of what Project HEAL is and its initiatives, which include an HBCU scholarship fund, youth design center expansion, mental health resources, and plans to fund a U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force of Event Safety and create a “tech-driven solution for event safety,” the rapper shared how he’s been spending his time since the tragic November 2021 incident.

“Over the past few months, I’ve been taking the time and space to grieve, reflect and do my part to heal my community. Most importantly, I want to use my resources and platform moving forward towards actionable change,” he began, noting that “this will be a lifelong journey for me and my family.” 

Travis went on to state that he felt that he needed “ to step up in times of need,” sharing that he and his team “created Project HEAL to take much needed action towards supporting real solutions that make all events the safest spaces they can possibly be.” He added, “I will always honor the victims of the Astroworld tragedy who remain in my heart forever.”

The rapper concluded his post, which garnered over a million likes from online users, writing, “Giving back and creating opportunities for the youth is something I’ve always done and will continue to do as long as I have the chance. This program will be a catalyst to real change, and I can’t wait to introduce the rest of the technology and ideas we’ve been working on.”

As for the idea of a gag order, Travis’s legal team said the entertainer could “make public statements about his ongoing philanthropic work, even as it relates to public safety” and that preventing him from doing so would be violating his fundamental rights. 

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