Rapper 50 Cent donated $100,000 to Autism Speaks after he mocked an autistic airport worker on his Instagram account Sunday, TMZ reported Thursday. Autism Speaks is an advocacy group for people with autism spectrum disorder.
“I am calling on my fellow musicians, actors, entertainers and all others who may not have fully considered this cause to join together to help in any way they can,” the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, said in a statement. “I want to turn this misunderstanding into an understanding. There are people that are ignored, mistreated and neglected with disabilities that need our support.”
Controversy erupted after 50 Cent made fun of Andrew Farrell, a worker at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport in a now-deleted Instagram video. The “In Da Club” rapper accused Farrell of being "high as a mother-----" and said Farrell’s pupils were "dilated and everything." While 50 Cent mistook Farrell’s actions for being doped up, the 19-year-old has autism and suffers from social anxiety and a hearing impairment.
— Starcasm (@starcasm) May 4, 2016
Before the donation, Fiddy issued a mea culpa Tuesday. “While the incident at the airport resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, I am truly sorry for offending the young man,” he told Page Six . “It was certainly not my intent to insult him or the disability community, which is a source of great strength in America.”
Autism Speaks was thankful for the rapper’s donation. “50 Cent’s apology to Andrew and generous donation to Autism Speaks at the family’s request call attention to the deep hurt -- intended or not -- inflicted by snap judgments and social media bullying,” they said, according to the Huffington Post.
The group also thanked Farrell’s family, who originally asked for the donation. “We thank Andrew Farrell and his family, who graciously turned an unfortunate situation into something positive.”
Fiddy’s donation comes at a financially tough time, considering the rapper filed for bankruptcy last year. He infuriated a judge when he posed with mounds of cash on Instagram, but the rapper claimed the money was fake. To pay off his debt, he must pay nearly $23 million over five years.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella.