Celebrities are walking out, speaking out and shelling out money to help support people protesting the murder of George Floyd more than a week ago in Minneapolis. Police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground, with his knees against his neck, and ignored Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder, but many believe that is not enough, and others cite the incident as a final outrage after decades of racism and ill-treatment. Protesters are also calling attention to the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by police, and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.
Protests, some of which turned violent, have broken out in cities across the country and world as people call for an end to brutality and injustice.
SPEAKING OUT AND PAYING UP
Several celebrities, including Chrissy Teigen, Seth Rogan, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Jameela Jamil, Steve Carrell, James Blake, Yara Shahidi, Janelle Monae, Don Cheadle and Patton Oswalt are donating to funds that will help pay for the bail of protesters.
In married couple Lively and Reynold’s joint statement, they promised to examine their complicity in systemic oppression. “We’ve never had to worry about preparing our kids for different rules of law or what might happen if we’re pulled over in the car,” the couple wrote in their statement. “We don’t know what it’s like to experience that life day in and day out. We can’t imagine feeling that kind of fear and anger. We’re ashamed that in the past we’ve allowed ourselves to be uninformed about how deeply rooted systemic racism is.”
Gabrielle Union wrote on Twitter: “Ok I know I'm blowin up some folks DMs worried cuz I haven't heard from yall up in Minneapolis & I must sound like a scared mom. Remember to periodically check in & just in case yall need us, we have donated here. Every amount helps. Be careful & please take care of each other”.
Kerry Washington shared a video of her hosting a virtual yoga seminar, writing: “Taking time to breathe for those who no longer have breath. Be kind and gentle to yourself today so you can be strong in the fight for justice. For those of you who weren’t able to join the yoga/mediation session today, I encourage you to still embrace a moment of silence to honor these victims and their grieving families.”
Anna Kendrick shared a video of police beating protesters, writing: “I mean. They couldn’t stop themselves from blatantly escalating things. Even for a few days, even cynically, even for the optics.”
John Cusack, meanwhile, said he became a victim of police violence himself during a protest in Chicago.
The 53-year-old wrote on Twitter: “Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons.”