By Shawn Scott Smith| June 10, 2011 | Comments Off
Fan ingenuity once again brings Joss Whedon’s 2005 film Serenity to screens worldwide to raise money and awareness for one of Whedon’s favorite charities, Equality Now.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Press Release) – June 9, 2011 – As Mr. Universe, a character from Joss Whedon’s cult film Serenity, bled to death at the hands of the Alliance, he defiantly spoke his catch phrase one last time: “Can’t stop the signal”. For the past 6 years, fans have raised over $500,000 for Equality Now (in addition to other charities) using this same gumption. Named in homage of that ci nematic moment, Can’t Stop the Serenity is the group that makes it happen.
Run entirely by volunteers and fans of Whedon’s beloved series Firefly, dubbed Browncoats, Can’t Stop the Serenity (CSTS) helps organize dozens of events around the globe, all of which tally their final donations together. Each event is tailor-made by the local organizers. In addition to seeing Firefly’s cinematic release Serenity on the big screen, they may include raffles, costume contests, concerts, fan films, and screenings of Whedon’s 2008’s web-series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Once the event season is over, there is a global auction of special merchandise donated by CSTS’s generous sponsors.
Equality Now was chosen from the very start as the organization receiving the proceeds of the global events. Joss Whedon’s late mother was involved with the charity, founded in 1992 to work towards ending violence and protecting the basic human rights of women and girls around the world. Whedon has been outspoken in his support of the organization and gender equality. In 2006, Whedon was honored with a special recognition award from Equality Now. In his acceptance speech, he told a story of how he’s often questioned as to why he writes strong women characters such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His response:
“Because equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it.
We need equality. Kinda now.”
A very special announcement for the 2011 season is that Joss Whedon himself will be attending and speaking at one of the events: Can’t Stop The Serenity in Los Angeles on June 25th, hosted by the California Browncoats. Taking the excitement one step further, the event will be broadcast live via the web so people can enjoy the night from around the world. Using multiple cameras, the feed will show the live events from the stage, interviews with attendees and general footage to capture every moment from this unprecedented event.
Now in its 6th year, Can’t Stop the Serenity has become a worldwide benefit movement in the name of Whedon’s beloved works. Browncoats are part of a global family that believes doing the impossible makes one mighty. The fight for basic human decency will continue for as long as there are people in need and those willing to answer that call. In trying to raise awareness for that call, Mr. Universe said it best, ”Can’t stop the signal.”
For more information, including local event details, visit www.cantstoptheserenity.com
About Joss Whedon:
Joss Whedon is a well-known proponent of gender equality. His mother was actively involved in
Amnesty International, and Equality Now was founded by one of her students. Whedon is known
for creating dynamic female characters on his shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse. “There are two ways to fight a battle like ours,” says Whedon. “One is to whisper in the ear of the masses, try subtly and gradually to change the gender expectations and mythic structure of our culture. That’s me. The other is to step up and confront the thousands of atrocities that are taking place around the world on an immediate, one-by-one basis. That’s a great deal harder, and that’s Equality Now. It’s not about politics; it’s about basic human decency.”
About Equality Now:
Equality Now was founded in 1992 to work for the protection and promotion of the
human rights of women around the world. Working with national human rights
organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and
discrimination against women and mobilizes international action to support their efforts
to stop these human rights abuses. For more information, visit www.EqualityNow.org or
contact Amanda Sullivan, Director, Women’s Action Network, Equality Now at (212)
The film Serenity (serenitymovie.com) is based on Joss Whedon’s short-lived “space western” television series, Firefly. Although it was cancelled in 2002 after only 11 episodes, Firefly’s fan base quickly reached a cult standing equal to Whedon’s other longer-lived shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The fans worked hard to get Firefly back on the air, but, despite their best efforts, it never happened. In 2003, Whedon and the fans were rewarded by a film deal with Universal Studios, and Serenity opened in theaters in September 2005 to critical acclaim.