Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, and more call for action in wake of George Floyd's death
Celebrities across the entertainment industry are sharing their outrage and sorrow at the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. As protests spread across the country this week, many stars expressed solidarity with the protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement and called for the officers involved in Floyd's death to be charged with murder.
Billie Eilish shared a lengthy message on Instagram, calling out people to use the phrase "All Lives Matter" in response to the BLM movement. "IF ALL LIVES MATTER WHY ARE BLACK PEOPLE KILLED FOR JUST BEING BLACK?" Eilish wrote. "WHY ARE IMMIGRANTS PERSECUTED? WHY ARE WHITE PEOPLE GIVEN OPPORTUNITIES THAT PEOPLE OF OTHER RACES AREN'T?... WE HAVE TO ADDRESS HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF OPPRESSION OF BLACK PEOPLE."
Also on Instagram, Beyoncé posted a video calling for action. "We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We're broken and we're disgusted. We cannot normalize this pain," she said. "No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of color as less than human... Yes, someone's been charged, but justice is far from being achieved." She pointed viewers to a Change.org petition calling for all the officers involved in Floyd's death to be fired and charged.
Many celebrities also shared the petition and other resources for citizens to demand action, including organizations to donate to during this time. On Friday, calls to donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a nonprofit helping to bail out Minnesota protestors, spread across social media, with many stars taking part and making donations of their own.
Tyler Perry, meanwhile, urged protestors to remain peaceful, sharing a speech by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and writing, "Please, please stop this violence!! Looting is NOT THE ANSWER!!!!"
On Friday, the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder after being fired from the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday, along with the other officers who were present at the time of Floyd's death. However, protests continued across the country into the weekend, reflecting the long history of racial injustice that has permeated the U.S. for centuries.
You can see more celebrities' responses to the tragedy below.
To help combat systemic racism, please consider donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero, which is dedicated to ending police brutality in America through research-based strategies.
- Color of Change, which works to move decision makers in corporations and government to be more responsive to racial disparities.
- Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to people who have been wrongly convicted, denied a fair trial, or abused in state jails and prisons.