Activist Bree Newsome was arrested on Saturday morning in Columbia, South Carolina, after removing the Confederate flag from in front of the State Capital building.
“We removed the flag today because we can’t wait any longer,” Newsome said in a statement. “We can’t continue like this another day. It’s time for a new chapter where we are sincere about dismantling white supremacy and building toward true racial justice and equality.”
Support for Newsome’s act of protest was strong on social media — the hashtag #FreeBree began trending shortly after her arrest — including from members of the Hollywood community. Michael Moore, Empire co-creator Danny Strong, and Selma director Ava DuVernay tweeted about Newsome on Saturday, with DuVernay referencing her recent connections to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“I hope I get the call to direct the motion picture about a black superhero I admire. Her name is @BreeNewsome,” DuVernay wrote.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed this week that he had met with DuVernay about the possibility of directing the studio’s Black Panther.
“I mean, is it a huge goal that I’m thinking about and striving for? No. But if there was the right story, absolutely,” DuVernay told EW earlier this year when asked about directing superhero movies. “I think it’s important that our heroes reflect more than one kind of person.”
Newsome and another man were charged with defacing a monument, a misdemeanor offense.