This week, the NAACP partnered with an a-list lineup of celebrities on a new video that encourages white people to “take responsibility” for perpetuating and ignoring racism. It’s an incredibly powerful message, but it’s already receiving plenty of mixed reactions.
The black-and-white video features Sarah Paulson, Julianne Moore, Justin Theroux, Stanley Tucci, Aaron Paul, Kristen Bell, Mark Duplass, Bryce Dallas Howard, Debra Messing, Ilana Glazer, Kesha, Bethany Joy Lenz, Piper Perabo and more, who each take responsibility for allowing racism to happen in their presence via silence or inaction.
“Our friends. Our family. We are done watching them die. We are no longer bystanders. We will not be idle. Enough is enough,” Piper Perabo says.
“I will no longer allow an unchecked moment. I will no longer allow racist hurtful words, jokes, stereotypes, no matter how big or small to be uttered in my presence,” Stanley Tucci adds.
Speaking of brands supporting Black Lives Matter, hear about some of the recent tone-deaf statements below:
In a statement via The Hollywood Reporter, NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said, “In order for us as a nation to get to a better place, we’re going to have to adjust how we see each other and engage in open and honest conversations that might be painful at times.”
“It is powerful when white people can speak openly about the individual and structural racism and privilege that deny others their full rights,” he continued. “We need everyone to join us on the frontline in the fight for justice and equality.”
While some social media users praised the ‘I Take Responsibility’ video for sparking an important conversation about racism, others slammed it for being cringeworthy and a hollow gesture.
Some even likened the video to Gal Gadot’s celebrity singalong of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ which was released in March.
Gadot’s video featured an equally-as-famous lineup of celebrities and was intended to help people get through coronavirus lockdowns, but it copped major backlash for being incredibly tone-deaf.
At the end of the ‘I Take Responsibility’ video, viewers are encouraged to take action at itakeresponsibility.org and make change by demanding police accountability, supporting organisations on the front lines, donating to families affected or by mobilising voting efforts.
While the video is being criticised for being somewhat ‘performative’, one Twitter user pointed out “at least they’re trying to help,” which is a valid point. The question is – is it enough?
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