Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Donate His 'Snowden' Acting Fee to ACLU Project

Joseph Gordon Levitt Democracy Video - H 2016

Joseph Gordon Levitt Democracy Video - H 2016

His production company, hitRECord, has partnered with the organization for a series of short films on tech and democracy.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Thursday launched a new endeavor with his production company hitRECord and the American Civil Liberties Union. The actor is donating his acting fee from Oliver Stone's Snowden film, in which he plays Edward Snowden, to fund a project about the connections between technology and democracy.

Gordon-Levitt announced the news in a YouTube video entitled, "Are you there, Democracy? It's me, the Internet." He asked people to submit videos with their perspectives on technology and democracy and said he's been thinking about the connection between the two while working on Snowden.

Through hitRECord, Gordon-Levitt will use the submissions to make a series of short films on democracy in the digital age. The team plans to create one short documentary-style film as well as other short films such as animated music videos or dramatizations of people's experiences.

"I've been thinking a lot lately about these questions ever since playing Edward Snowden, and I think especially with an election coming up this year here in the U.S. it's a really worthwhile conversation for us to be having," said Gordon-Levitt in the video. "So I'm going to be donating my acting fee from the Snowden movie to help facilitate that conversation."

Part of the money will go toward this new project, specifically helping to pay contributors for their submissions if they are selected. Gordon-Levitt will donate the remainder to the ACLU in support of the legal work they do on free speech and digital privacy rights.

In the video, the actor asks people to answer three questions: Is today’s technology good or bad for democracy?; How might the technology of the future be bad for democracy?; and How might the technology of the future be good for democracy?

"The answers I’m most interested in are not the expert, political-pundit, left-wing, right-wing talking points kind of thing. I’d much rather hear a personal story or something that’s unique to you,” said Gordon-Levitt. There are already 37 contributions for the project on hitRECord's website.

The short films will be finished before Snowden premieres in May.