As brands continue pivoting 2020 Pride events to online gatherings and Black Lives Matter protests, iHeartRadio and Procter & Gamble have partnered to host a virtual event designed to raise visibility for the LGBTQ community and funds for organizations impacted by Covid-19.
The brands will host Can’t Cancel Pride: A Covid-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community on June 25. The one-hour event will stream at 9 p.m. live for each U.S. coast on iHeartRadio’s app, Facebook and Instagram pages, PrideRadio.com and iHeartMedia stations in the U.S.
Hosted by radio personality Elvis Duran and trans activist and actress Laverne Cox, the event will have performances and appearances by Billy Porter, Adam Lambert, Big Freedia, Sia, Ricky Martin, Melissa Etheridge, Katy Perry and Kim Petras.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the complex and significant obstacles facing the LGBTQ+ community,” said Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at P&G, in a statement. “Can’t Cancel Pride is about showing the community that they are not alone and that they are seen and loved, as the pandemic has led to the closure of community centers and support systems that millions of LGBTQ+ people rely on every day.”
Brent Miller, co-founder of Can’t Cancel Pride and associate director of global LGBTQ equality, creative content and partnerships at P&G, said the company developed the event idea in April as a way to also use its privilege as a well known company to bring visibility to the LGBTQ community during Pride Month.
“There are so many people right now who are isolated, whether they’re young people at home with families that might not be supportive of them, or older people that rely on going to community centers and other gathering places to be with their chosen family,” Miller said. “Pride is a time when you come together. In the absence of events we wanted to bring a message of hope. If we can help people right now that are hurting when they need it most, we will have achieved what we set out to do.”
The event is being overseen by an advisory committee that includes Rob Smith, CEO and founder of the Phluid Project; Robyn Streisand Luppino, president of the Mixx and Titanium Worldwide; and Olympia Lambert, client services director of the Mixx.
The committee has partnered with the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to distribute funds raised by the event to community organizations including GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, the National Black Justice Coalition, CenterLink and OutRight Action International.
“This is a unique opportunity to focus on the heart and soul of the community and the movement we serve across the country, allowing access for everyone,” Smith said in a statement. “Celebrating virtually affords us the opportunity to touch people in communities across the country and ensure that we are broadly able to showcase the incredible diversity and intersectionality of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Miller is executive producer of the event along with John Sykes, Tom Poleman and Duran of iHeartMedia; Casey Patterson, founder of Casey Patterson Entertainment; and Alex Coletti of Alex Coletti Productions.
P&G brands including Bounty, Tide, Dawn and Pantene are supporting Can’t Cancel Pride. Additional sponsors include Cadillac, Crest, Mattel, Mercedes-Benz and Olay.
The event is also encouraging viewers to participate by sharing their Pride moments from home on social media with the hashtag #CantCancelPride. Viewers can also donate by visiting the event’s website, cantcancelpride.com, or texting “Rainbow” to 56512.