The Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization named in honor of Pop star/business mogul Rihanna’s late grandmother, raises funds to promote emergency response programs, increasing efforts for global education, and more. Its crowning glory to date comes courtesy of the annual Diamond Ball – a social event that not only raises money for its primary causes but also has become one of its season’s ‘must attend’ event for industry A-listers.
Annually honoring a humanitarian whose efforts align with the foundation’s vision, the previous winners of the ceremony’s highlight – the coveted Diamond Ball Award – have usually been lauded for being named the year’s honoree. 2019 cannot boast the same, however. Just hours after Rih took to press to say…
“I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” Rihanna said in a statement obtained by Variety. “I am particularly honored to present Prime Minister Mottley and Shaun King with this year’s Diamond Ball Awards for their groundbreaking work. We are so thankful to them for joining us and making the night better than ever.”
I’m really wondering why people find it so shocking that Rihanna is honoring Shaun King. This girl have a track record of being problematic but she’s y’all relatable queen. pic.twitter.com/1Amxxf3qZ0
— my original account got suspended on April 14 (@mayMing04) August 22, 2019
While Shaun King has made a career as a champion for civil rights publicly (even honored by the BET Awards as a ‘Humanitarian Hero’ in 2018), there have been longstanding murmurs about the 39-year-old allegedly misallocating funds raised for Black families affected by police brutality and discrimination, plagiarizing many of his written works, and misreporting facts to stir controversy among his followers.
Once Twitter got wind of news he would be among the year’s honorees at the 2019 Diamond Ball there were calls for Rihanna to reconsider. See highlights below: