Celebrities React To The Charlottesville Protests

August 18, 2017

Celebrities have raised their voices about Charlottesville, VA and the dangers of racism

If you're finding the news coming out of Charlottesville, VA — where an alt-right rally has given way to hate speech, violence, and a fatal car crash reportedly targeting counterprotestors — has left you outraged and upset, you're not alone.

Many celebrities have taken to social media to decry the situation unfolding in Virginia, where Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency. "A picture is worth a thousand words," Zendaya told her followers in her post sharing a now-viral image of a Black police officer standing guard before white nationalist protestors carrying racist placards and making Nazi salutes. Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, meanwhile, made a simple statement by posting a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being arrested by white officers.

I really don't know what to say...but this is terrorism. This is America TODAY...not 40 years ago, and your president is silent. Disgusting.

A post shared by Zendaya (@zendaya) on 

A post shared by Mahershala Ali (@mahershalaali) on 

Others posted calls to action and passionate condemnations of both the violence unfolding and the complacency that lets it happen.

"The evolution of hate," wrote Insecure star Yvonne Orji, who shared images of white supremacists over the years, including those who wielded torches at the University of Virginia last night. "They had kids. Who grew up to also have kids. These are the kids who go to school with your kids. See how this works? So think about this the next time you think to utter: 'But slavery/Jim Crow/civil rights was such a long time ago.' Or, 'Obama was president...and I voted for him.' Or 'why does everything have to be about race all the time?' Because we have yet to heal as a nation. That's why."

The evolution of hate. They had kids. Who grew up to also have kids. These are the kids who go to school with your kids. See how this works? So think about this the next time you think to utter: "but slavery/Jim crow/Civil rights was such a long time ago." Or, "Obama was president...and I voted for him." Or "why does everything have to be about race all the time?" Because we have yet to heal as a nation. That's why. #CharlottesvilleIsNotAnIsolatedIncident #ItIsAstateOfEmergency #ItIsANationalEpidemic #ItIsAhateCrime #AroseByAnyOtherName #CallitWhatItIs #PrayersUp🙏🏾 #OnlyLoveCanConquerHate

A post shared by Yvonne Orji (@yvonneorji) on 

"All white people are responsible for the upholding of white supremacy and for the fall of it," echoed former Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard in a post shared by Lena Dunham.

A post shared by Rowan Blanchard (@rowanblanchard) on 

"Protest should be used to perpetuate progressive politics of universal equity/love/acceptance," added Yara Shahidi of Black-ish. "The picture above, is one of protest. What's happening in Charlottesville isn't protest. It's the manifestation of hate and modern terrorism. It's the unveiling of the insidious racism that is allowed to prosper within our society.

Protest should be used to perpetuate progressive politics of universal equity/ love/ acceptance. The picture above, is one of protest. What's happening in Charlottesville isn't protest. It's the manifestation of hate and modern terrorism. It's the unveiling of the insidious racism that is allowed to prosper within our society. #uva #webuiltthat

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on 

"This is painful to watch but you have to be informed," noted Claws ' Niecy Nash alongside a video of UVA protestors. "PSA: If these were Black people in a peaceful protest law enforcement would have been ordered to shut it down by any means necessary."

This is painful to watch but you have to be informed. Psa : if these were black people in a peaceful protest law enforcement would have been ordered to shut it down by any means necessary. #Facts

A post shared by niecynash1 (@niecynash1) on 

Olivia Wilde shared a statement from her journalist mother, Leslie Cockburn, who is running for Congress in Virginia. Cockburn described the "Unite the Right" rally as "unvarnished Nazism" and encouraged followers to support minority-owned businesses and charities.

Donald Trump's remarks about the Charlottesville situation, in which he assigned blame "on many sides," also drew ire from the Hollywood community.

"CALL IT WHAT IT IS. IT. IS. TERRORISM." Zendaya tweeted. Judd Apatow, Andrew Rannells, Chris Evans, and Kumail Nanjiani also spoke out.

By Erin Donnelly

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