Jenna Fischer Vows to Donate DePauw Appearance Money to NAACP, ADL
Student activists interrupted a planned Q&A with the actress on Tuesday night to voice concerns over reported racist and homophobic activity on campus.
While appearing for a Q&A and book signing Tuesday night at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, actress Jenna Fischer was interrupted by a group of student activists protesting recent incidents on the campus involving racist and homophobic activity.
On Wednesday, the Office alum and current Splitting Up Together star took to Twitter to issue a statement on the event. "A few moments after taking the stage, frustrated students filled the aisles of the auditorium with signs and demands for safety, protection and security,” wrote Fischer. “The student protestors spoke about their experiences and about the hate they have been encountering. I could feel the pain, sadness and fear coming from these students.”
The actress then promised to use “the full amount I was paid by the University” to make “equal donations to the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and the Trevor Project in the name of the students of DePauw University.”
According to a letter sent by DePauw University president Mark McCoy to the campus, the incidents that sparked the protests included a racist threat found in a restroom, a homophobic and anti-Semitic message also found in the restroom, the "n-word" formed by rocks in a nearby park and an incident of a student “engaging in offensive behavior.”
"Jenna's support of our students and the empathy and kindness she has demonstrated — while on campus and now after the fact — are remarkable, genuine and appreciated," Ken Owen, special advisor to the president at DePauw University, told The Hollywood Reporter.
"DePauw is a diverse and inclusive institution that is working with our students who are hurt and frustrated, and with campus police and outside authorities to determine who is behind the deplorable acts of recent days. We have taken action to make them feel safer and to have dialogues with all students, faculty and staff. We are committed to identifying the best way forward. We thank Jenna deeply," Owen added.
A representative for Fischer said the actress has no further comment beyond her statement.