Orange is the New Black's Laverne Cox stunned on the red carpet at Saturday's Screen Actors Guild Awards. But her maroon, single-shoulder Prabal Gurung gown wasn't the only thing that got people talking.
During the showcase — in which stars mostly talk up their forthcoming film projects and rave about the designers who fashioned their latest frocks — Cox decided to bring attention to an important issue: the water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Thousands of people have been affected by the situation, in which lead poisoning has rendered the water undrinkable and residents have had to rely on bottled water. It could cost well above $1 billion to fix the tainted supply, but health issues for locals who consumed the water will likely be a long-term concern. In the meantime, some celebrity donors, as well as helpful locals, have been donating cash and water to the distressed city, where some residents are afraid to come forward to ask for life's most basic necessity.
So, upon noting that she "may not be" at the SAG Awards next year, Cox decided to chat with E! host Giuliana Rancic about the devastating issue.
"Speaking of crazy stuff, I have to give a shout-out to the people of Flint, Mich.," Cox said. "We donated water — you can make a cash donation to the water fund, the Flint Water Fund. If you go to my Twitter page, @LaverneCox, you can see a link to make a donation. And really, I think the governor should resign, but that's a whole other issue. Sending love to the people at Flint and let's do what we can do. United States people should have clean drinking water."
"Well said," Rancic added, further praising Cox for using the attention bring awareness to the situation in Flint, which Michael Keaton also brought up during an acceptance speech at the awards, according to USA Today.
"I wish I could do more," Cox said. "There is so much going on in the world that I try to do what I can. But acting is my day job, so I kind of have to take care of that first. But yes, I feel blessed and it feels like a responsibility… for all of us who do have a platform to raise awareness around issues that are important."
The cast of Orange is the New Black was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, which it won easily for a second consecutive year. As the fourth season of the show prepares to debut on Netflix in June, Cox may just be making another appearance at the SAG Awards in 2017.
But in the meantime, each of us can follow her lead and do our part to help the people of Flint. Visit the United Way of Genesee County's Flint Water Fund page to make a donation. Funds will go toward "the purchase of filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts. 100% of the fund is used for these projects and no Administrative Fee is assessed," according to the site.
(H/T: E! Online)
Cover image via Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Turner.