Ryan Reynolds, Aaron Paul & Bryan Cranston donate to out-of-work bartenders

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We last talked about Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin because of a genius marketing idea: He (or someone else at the company) seized on the backlash to Peloton’s Christmas commercial by greenlighting a commercial that took place in the same universe and featured the same actress: The wife has left her husband (and the Peleton) and is shown relaxing at a bar with two friends and drinking Aviation Gin.

To help others during the pandemic, Ryan and Blake Lively donated a combined $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada. On Tuesday, Ryan announced that from now until May 1, 30% of the profits from Aviation Gin sold online will be donated the U.S. Bartenders Guild to support out-of-work bartenders. Aviation Gin made a $15,000 donation to the guild via its just-launched, “Tip Your Bartender” program (with a name that is reminiscent of Ty Burrell’s “Tip Your Server” program to help out-of-work bar-and-restaurant staff in Salt Lake City).

Former Breaking Bad costars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were inspired to do the same with the proceeds from their own Dos Hombres mezcal company.

Kudos to Ryan and to Bryan and Aaron for doing this. One of the small comforts I’ve gotten over the past week or so is that people are finally recognizing (far too belatedly) just how important people who work in the food-service industry are (along with everyone working in an “essential” business right now). We’d be in even more dire straits without them, and I hope that when this is over, work is done to get them the paychecks, benefits and protections that they deserve.

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15 Responses to “Ryan Reynolds, Aaron Paul & Bryan Cranston donate to out-of-work bartenders”

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  1. AmyB says:

    Kudos to them!!! I worked in the fine dining restaurant business as a server and later as a manager in some top restaurants in Philadelphia. I do not anymore, but my heart goes out to all the chefs, managers, servers, bartenders etc., who are now jobless and most without benefits! It is a very hard business to begin with and unless you have worked in it, you will never truly appreciate the madness of it all LOL! I am so happy to see this – hope others who can do the same will follow suit!

  2. Astrid says:

    please keep these great stories coming

  3. lizzieb says:

    ❌💯 it’s great to hear positive stories

  4. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    Good on them for helping. Most of these employees don’t have any kind of benefits through their companies so they need all the help they can get. Now if only there were a fund for un- and under-employed airline staff. That would make me super happy as I watch my job go down the toilet this week.

  5. Jerusha says:

    Speaking of essential businesses, I am grateful for the people who arrive on schedule to pick up all the trash we generate.

  6. TIFFANY says:

    These past few weeks is the most I have ever like Reynolds.

    Good on him for doing this.

  7. dewdrop says:

    as a bartender, these are such scary times for us. they closed the bar i work at for an unknown amount of time, which i agree with and laid off the entire staff. we are eligible for unemployment but that doesn’t even come close to the amount we were making but it’s better than nothing. with all daycare centers closed in my state, applying for a traditional daytime job is not an option right now either.

    i honestly do feel like people look down on the service industry. i can’t tell you how many times i’ve been asked when i was going to get a “real job”. it’s hard and disheartening sometimes but the support that is coming out is up lifting.

    at the end of the day, i just want to be able to provide for my 9 month old and be ok. i know this is just a pause, and the bar will come back.

    but it’s a scary time. it’s an isolating time.

    • Esmom says:

      Ah, dewdrop, so sorry for your anxieties. I do think more people will come out of this appreciating the work you do, which seems stressful af to me. Best to you and your baby.

    • AmyB says:

      @dewdrop I am so sorry to hear you are going through that! Especially with a young baby! My prayers are with you. I know what you mean about people looking down on the service industry, as I posted above I did it for some 20 years, and even though I worked in very high end restaurants, people would still ask me that obnoxious question! You know what? I made a great living doing that work, I was able to buy my home and provide financial stability for me and my daughter! So I hear you with your frustration! But of course, I was not faced with a massive lay off like this! Hang in there…I hear unemployment benefits are going to be expanded and increased tremendously and hopefully your place of employment will be able to open sooner than later!!! Prayers to you and your family xoxo

  8. Mina_Esq says:

    Good on them. I need to try Aviation Gin. Sidebar: Ryan Reynolds is aging really, really, really well.

  9. Esmom says:

    This is great. So many local restaurants and taverns have set up Go Fund Me accounts, it’s so hard to donate to them all, especially as my own finances have suddenly been squeezed on a variety of fronts.

    I know one bartender who is making deliveries of booze to their customers, which makes me sad for her, she’s trying so hard to make ends meet and she still may not cover her rent.

  10. lucy2 says:

    This is lovely of them. I hope the funds raised are substantial.

    I didn’t even know there was a Bartender’s Guild. Since we’ve yet to get universal healthcare, why don’t organizations like this negotiate for health insurance for members who aren’t covered by employers? My professional organization doesn’t either, even though so many are sole practitioners and people have been begging them to do it. $600/year in dues for nothing.

  11. ana says:

    People working in restaurants and bars should have a regular paycheck and benefits. It is like that in Europe, where to get a tip is somewhat insulting because it means your employer does not pay you enough and so they (the emploer) don’t follow the law.

  12. L says:

    If there’s one thing to come out of this, were finally realising who is important in our economy… All those people who were looked down upon (by some) for having lower level income are now being recognised for their contribution… Cleaners, hospitality workers, waste management workers, supermarket workers ETC… And those that were lauded as being “successful” (aka rich) like, say, hedge fund managers, well, they’re not so essential now..