Celebrities Buy Out Theaters For Charleston Church Shooting Documentary

Justin Timberlake, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Laverne Cox, and LL Cool J are buying out theaters across the country for screenings of “Emanuel,” a documentary produced by Viola Davis and Stephen Curry about the 2015 Dylann Roof shootings.

Timberlake’s theater is in Memphis, Tenn.; Berry’s in Cleveland; Theron’s in LA; Cox’s in Mobile, Ala.; and LL Cool J’s in Queens.

The doc describes the events on June 17, 2015, when Roof walked into Bible study at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, SC and murdered nine African-Americans during their closing prayer. The film will feature interviews with survivors as well as the family of the deceased, but the larger focus is on how the community supported each other after the horrific, white supremacy-fueled murders.

The celebs are purchasing all the seats for screenings around the country on Monday and Wednesday, then donating them to “local organizations and communities,” including churches. Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, told Essence in a joint statement, “We, along with the country, grieved each family’s loss. Yet, miraculously, from this devastation, we witnessed tremendous benchmarks of humanity. The survivors found courage to love in the face of hate.”

Celebs are taking part in the theater buyouts because they collectively believe it’s an important film, and that as many people should see the movie as possible. Others participating in the buyouts are Yvette Nicole Brown (Richmond Heights, Ohio), Tyrese (Los Angeles), Nick Cannon (Washington DC and San Diego) and Martin Lawrence (Hanover, MD).

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