Following public outcry from the late actor/comedian Anthony “AJ” Johnson’s widow for financial assistance to help cover the Friday star’s burial and funeral costs, a number of entertainers have stepped up to help lessen the burden.
According to TMZ, the GoFundMe account set up by Lexis Jones Mason after her husband’s death has now received more than $70,000 in donations after previously plateauing at $1,100 prior to her critical comments regarding the lack of financial support she had received.
The first celebrity to donate a significant sum to Mason’s GoFundMe was comedian/actor Michael Blackson, who donated $10,000 to the account last Monday (Sept. 20). Blackson, who sent his condolences to Johnson and his family via an Instagram post, also encouraged others fans of Johnson’s work to donate.
“If he’s ever made you laugh, let’s all contribute and send him home the right way,” Blackson captioned the post. “I’m not sure what anyone is doing, but I’m going to raise my own money for him.”
Mason, who says she will be splitting some of the proceeds among the Compton, Calif. natives three children and has plans to start a school in Johnson’s name to help underserved youth, originally hoped to raise $20,000 to bury Johnson in Rose Hills cemetery in California.
Last week, Mason made waves during an appearance on TMZ, calling out friends, peers, and fans of the I Got the Hook-Up actor for what she deemed as “fake love” in light of the lack of funds donated to help properly bury him.
“Y’all say y’all love him, where’s the love?” she Mason. “Y’all not helping. I get the calls, the inboxes saying y’all raising money. No, we’re raising money ’cause I gotta pay for this all out of pocket.”
However, Mason revealed her determination to give her late husband, who died in Los Angeles on Sept. 6 at the age of 56, a proper homegoing service, adding, “I’m asking for help, but if I don’t get it, it’s fine, ’cause I’m not leaving my husband in there like that. We’re gonna have a service. I’m gonna do everything I know he would’ve done for me. It’s just hurtful.”