Entertainment

‘Glee’ Stars Honor The Memory Of Naya Rivera In A Way The Star Would Have Loved

It’s been five months since the tragic and untimely death of Glee star, Naya Rivera. Her death sent shockwaves across the world and left a gaping hole in the close-knit Glee cast.

Now, as the holidays are approaching, members from Glee are honoring her giving spirt by throwing a fundraiser in her honor to help those that Rivera truly cared about and helped through donations and volunteer work while she was still alive.

Naya Rivera’s giving holiday spirit is being kept alive by Glee cast members, who launched a charity drive in her honor.

A GoFundMe page was set up December 4 to raise money for Alexandria House, a non-profit that was close to Rivera’s heart. The Los Angeles non-profit provides safe and supportive housing for women and children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to permanent housing.

“The connection I feel with [Alexandria House] and the people who reside and work there has been the biggest blessing and made such a huge positive impact on myself and my son. We truly have found a home away from home through the time we spend volunteering there,” Naya Rivera said a few months before her death. 

Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Jenna Ushkowitz, Dianna Agron and Chris Colfer, are among Rivera’s co-stars promoting the charity drive. 

Rivera used to throw an annual Christmas party and toy drive, which she dubbed Snixxmas.

“If you were lucky enough to know Naya, you know she threw some epic parties,” the page read. “Snixxmas was like Naya herself… sparkling, fabulous and one hell of a good time! But it wasn’t only glitz, glamour and gay apparel. Every holiday season, Naya found ways to give back.”

This will be the first Christmas without Rivera. 

“Now more than ever it’s important that we keep the Snixxmas Spirit alive. We won’t be able to throw a big, fabulous party this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give back. We will be making a donation in Naya’s name to Alexandria House,” reads the GoFundMe page. 

And the fundraiser would make Rivera proud as it’s truly helping those in need.

The page had an original goal of $50k, which was met in less than a day. The page has upped their goal to $100k and as of now has raised $78.5k.

The Snixxmas team encourages supporters that are unable to give a financial donation to “follow Naya’s lead” and donate their time. 

 “Find a local charity whose mission speaks to you and aligns with your beliefs and lend a hand this season. Start a toy drive in your community! Do what you can do to make a difference.”

The GoFundMe page included a message from Rivera’s family at the end:

“We are forever grateful to Naya‘s friends and colleagues for having the desire to put such a beautiful fundraiser together. Everyone will always be remembered and loved by her entire family. Naya loved Christmas and we are pleased to know that her Christmas parties left a lasting impression on all of our lives. This fundraiser is an extension of Naya’s love for families, children, and holidays. To honor her in this manner is evidence that her love for others is endlessly alive. On behalf of Naya and her son Josey, the family would like to donate items from her Jojo & Izzy clothing line. We appreciate all who continue to shine Naya’s love and light.”

The Glee actress accidentally drowned while out on a lake day with her 5-year-old son, Josey, in July of this year. 

Rivera’s death sent shockwaves throughout the world. Her tragic death left a gaping hole in many of our hearts who came to love her from her portrayal of strong, queer characters – especially her performance on Glee.

Her body was found in Lake Piru, which is located outside of Los Angeles. She and her son had rented a boat for a day out on the lake but hours after renting the boat, authorities found her son alone in the boat and Rivera nowhere to be found. According to officials, the son said that he and Rivera went for a swim and that she didn’t get back on the boat. CNN reports that the child was wearing a life vest while an adult life vest was found on the boat.

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Dad Says ‘Glee’ Showrunner Ryan Murphy Lied About Setting Up a College Fund for Her Son, Josey

Photos via Getty Images

Months after Naya Rivera’s untimely passing, her family is still struggling to cope with the aftermath of her death. Although there was an outpouring of well-wishes and condolences after Rivera’s tragic drowning, many people have unfortunately moved on. But Rivera’s family is still coping.

On Tuesday, Naya Rivera’s father, George Rivera, slammed “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy for making “broken promises” to Rivera’s son, Josey.

Last July, Murphy pledged to set up a college fund for Josey. In a statement, Murphy said: ““Our hearts go out to her family, especially her mom, Yolanda, who was a big part of the Glee family, and her son Josey. The three of us are currently in the process of creating a college fund for the beautiful son Naya loved most of all.”

But since then, George Rivera has vented his frustration at the media mogul via Twitter. In response to a July, 2020 tweet that praised Ryan Murphy for his generosity, George Rivera wrote: “Everyone needs to know what Ryan Murphy really did … or didn’t do !!! I’m about to blow up this story …. and make sure he’s knows that I know ….”

In subsequent tweets, George Rivera accused Ryan Murphy both of faking his grief over Naya’s death and lying about setting up a college fund for Josey.

“When you are part of the Hollywood elite, some people treat others as they are “less than” …. vocalize a good game , but it’s as shallow as the sets on stage , that they create,” Rivera wrote. “Promises made in public, only to fade with time and excuses …. even in a unexplainable tragedy …”

Soon enough, fans of Naya Rivera began to engage with George Rivera, asking him to disclose what happened behind the scenes. One zealous fan wrote “Let it out, G. Let it out,” to which Rivera responded, “Broken Promises….. fake outrage …. hollow gestures ….. no phone call.”

George Rivera’s accusations against Ryan Murphy shocked many fans who had thought that her son would be taken care of by the ultra-successful producer.

Looking for clarification, one fan asked, “Did they never open the trust fund for josey? omg,” to which George responded, “Hahaaaa.” His response the initial veiled accusation.

In response to George’s accusations, many “Glee” fans rallied around the grieving father. “If you have anything else please do share,” wrote one Naya Rivera fan account. “We’re going to listen and make sure you have the platform to share whatever that awful man said and did to you and your family, we’re with you.”

Ryan Murphy quickly took to Twitter to address the allegations and defend himself–albeit vaguely.

“Myself, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan have committed to create a college fund for Naya Rivera’s child Josey through the Naya Rivera Estate Trust,” Murphy wrote. “We have been in repeated conversations with the appropriate executors of her estate.”

Based on Murphy’s use of the word “committed”, it does, indeed, sound like he hasn’t actually started the fund yet. We hope he keeps his promise and starts that very soon.

Regardless, we’re glad that George Rivera was brave enough to call out Hollywood power players that were letting his family down.

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