Since its announcement three years ago, New York University's $6 billion proposal to expand the institution's reach by 2031 has been met with heavy criticism. Almost immediately, a myriad of organizations, including the NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, began filing lawsuits to block the massive university from overwhelming the Village even further.
Among those outraged by the initiative is life-long New York resident Matthew Broderick, who spoke against the plan in front of City Council last summer. Now even more celebrities are coming to the Village's defense.
Celebrities like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Padma Lakshmi, John Leguizamo, Philip Glass and Fran Lebowitz have partnered with NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan for an auction to raise money for the legal action against the university's expansion plan.
Items for the auction were donated by the celebs and include a two-hour acting lesson with Hoffman, lunch with Lebowitz, free ping pong and two rounds of drinks at Sarandon's pingpong club SPiN and a one-on-one basketball game with Leguizamo.
In a press release issued by NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, actor Matthew Modine, a long-time resident of the Village, rebuked the expansion:
NYU may argue that this new proposed development is progress and for the betterment of the city – but isn’t this the same kind of hollow argument developers make when they want to cut down old growth forests or when they want to evict long-standing residents from buildings so they can tear them down for profit? The only people that stand to benefit from a developer’s wrecking ball are the people that will line their wallets. These profiteers are, no doubt, not even residents of the Village. People that do not enjoy the historical character of Greenwich Village.
The auction will take place online and items will be available for purchase from December 9th – 18th.