All around the world, people are joining in on the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests — celebrities included.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We’re happy to finally have the support the movement always deserved, but it must be said that, in addition to posting hashtags and marching when called upon, many of our unmelanated friends need to reevaluate how they contribute to racial inequities in their everyday lives.
ICYMI, Lea Michele was called out for supporting the protests in public, while being a racist and bully behind closed doors. “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter,” Lea tweeted, to which her former Glee colleague Samantha Marie Ware responded…
“Lmao remember when you made my first television gig a living hell?!?! Cause I’ll never forget. I believe you told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘shit in my wig!’ Amongst other traumatic microaggressions that made me question a career in Hollywood.”
It wasn’t long before other actors joined in on exposing Lea, including Dabier Snell and Amber Riley, who posted a very telling GIF.
On Tuesday, meal-kit company HelloFresh terminated their partnership with Lea, saying in a statement:
“HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele. We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.”
Lea has since apologized — sort of. Read her “if you feel some type of way, my bad” apology in full below.
Here are 11 other celebs that have us feeling a little skeptical during this time. We’re all about people growing and doing better, however, so we wholeheartedly hope these folks have learned valuable lessons.
1. Ariana GrandeSource:Getty
Ariana Grande, whose song and visual for ‘7 Rings’ sparked cultural appropriation conversations, has been VERY vocal during the George Floyd protests and was even spotted marching. “Our black friends need us to show up and to be better and to be vocal. now more than ever. online. offline even more so. this is more than a post. we have to show up. there is work that needs to be done and it is absolutely on us to do it,” she said in one of many Instagram posts.
ICYMI, several Black artists accused Ariana of appropriating their personas on ‘7 Rings.’ She used 2 Chainz’s ‘Pink Trap House’ aesthetic for the video and when Princess Nokia said she stole the lyrics, Ariana responded “White women talking about their weaves is how we’re gonna solve racism.”
Ariana apologized immediately, saying she was trying to “dissociate negative stereotypes that are paired with the word ‘weave’.” She also put 2 Chainz on the remix of her song. ‘7 Rings,’ ironically written by two Black women songwriters (Victoria Monet and Tayla Parx), went on to break streaming records — and Ariana did her best to give credit where credit was due moving forward.
We have faith that she’s going to do better.
2. Mark ZuckerbergSource:Getty
We could go on and on about the Facebook founder, but his most recent controversy is telling enough. After a conversation with Donald Trump, Zuckerberg refused to remove Trump’s violent words against George Floyd protesters. “When the looting starts the shooting starts,” Trump threatened.
“I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” Zuckerberg responded in a Facebook post. Meanwhile, he’s also pumping this rhetoric:
“The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace. It reminds us yet again that the violence Black people in America live with today is part of a long history of racism and injustice. We all have the responsibility to create change. We stand with the Black community — and all those working towards justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten.”
So hypocritical. #DeleteFacebook is trending.
3. Iggy AzaleaSource:Getty
Iggy Azalea was (rightfully) accused of cultural appropriation from the moment she stepped foot on the rap scene. And, it didn’t help that she referred to herself as a “runaway slave master” on her song ‘D.R.U.G.S.’ Her entire shtick boils down to poorly mimicking Black women entertainers.
However, she has been very vocal on Twitter since the George Floyd protests. “Can the government please stop employing racist sociopaths & pretending like they didn’t know,” she asked in one tweet. “I commend everyone protesting,” she said in another.
Iggy has an extreme amount of reevaluating and apologizing to do and a few tweets just ain’t gonna cut it.
4. Justin BieberSource:Getty
Justin Bieber has also been accused of cultural appropriation throughout his career. His use of racist slurs in jokes and in songs, when he was a teenager, also made people question his character.
“As a young man, I didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt,” he began in an apology, adding “I thought it was okay to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn’t realise at the time that it wasn’t funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance.”
After promising to take a good look in the mirror, Justin committed himself to being a better person. One of his posts dedicated to the George Floyd protests read “Dear non Black friends…. I’m paying attention to your silence.”
We do have faith that Justin Bieber will continue to be an active voice against racism.
5. The Kardashian-JennersSource:Getty
There is no end to the casual racism of the Kardashian-Jenners, who would like the public to believe they mean well. From their usage of the word “ghetto” to Kendall’s cringeworthy Pepsi commercial, the family’s ignorance has been on full display for years.
Remember Kendall and Kylie plastering their faces all over $125 Biggie and Tupac t-shirts? That, by the way, were not approved by the icons’ estates? We could go on. They’ve all always wanted to take part in Black culture, use Black culture to their benefit, and of course, date Black men, while barely supporting Black social justice issues, if at all.
These days Kim K. has committed herself to freeing nonviolent prisoners (with the help of two Black women lawyers), but continues to make ignorant choices in her businesses — like that time she decided to name her shapewear line “Kimono.” We are honestly hoping to see a more comprehensive commitment to prison reform on her behalf, if she really is dedicated to the issues at hand.
All of the Kardashian-Jenners have posted in support of the George Floyd protests.
6. Guiliana RancicSource:Getty
Guiliana Rancic infamously joked about Zendaya’s hair on the Oscars red carpet, saying she felt like the famed actress smelled like “patchouli” and “weed.” Rancic later claimed that she was referring to “hippie culture” not Zendaya’s locs.
“So many of us, with such heavy hearts, want to say the right thing but we don’t think we have the right words. But I’ve learned…it’s not about saying the perfect thing right now, it’s about saying I want to listen, I want to learn, I want to use my voice to share what truly matters,” she wrote, in part, on Instagram this week.
7. Kelly OsbourneSource:Getty
While guest co-hosting ‘The View’ in 2015, Kelly Osbourne infamously said “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?”
She claims she meant to criticize Trump and not offend Latinos, but man if that isn’t an all-out racist statement, we don’t know what is.
One glance at her Instagram and you’ll see she’s been posting about the protests and how to help the Black community during this time. “Remember everyone this is a Very very serious issue that ignites so much tension,” she said in one post that explained the significance of #BlackOutTuesday. “If you see someone trying to help that may have fallen off the path inside of attacking them gently redirect them. We don’t need anymore hate in the world. Sending peace and love to you all.”
8. John MayerSource:Splash News
John Mayer in a 2010 Playboy interview: “Someone asked me the other day, ‘What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?’ And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n*gger pass.”
In the same interview, he was asked if Black women throw themselves at him and he responded: “I don’t think I open myself to it. My d*ck is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a f*ckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my d*ck.”
He apologized, but really… how does one apologize for such ugly statements?
Mayer posted the #BlackOutTuesday square with no additional message.
9. Sarah SilvermanSource:Splash News
In an old episode of ‘The Sarah Silverman Program,’ the comedic actress was seen wearing blackface. Apparently, her character was attempting to figure out if it’s harder to live as a Black person or Jewish person. In the episode, she says “I look like the beautiful Queen Latifah” and the ignorance doesn’t end there.
Silverman has gone on the record to say she’s devoted her life to making it right. “I don’t stand by the blackface sketch,” she told GQ. “I’m horrified by it and I can’t erase it. I can only be changed by it and move on.”
This week, she too has used her social media to speak out during the George Floyd protests.
10. Camila CabelloSource:WENN
A whole thread of Camila Cabello’s racist (and archived) Tumblr posts got exposed last year, as the world learned Camila threw around the N-Word in addition to reposting harmful stereotypes. Former Fifth Harmony bandmate Normani spoke out when the 2012 posts resurfaced.
“It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me,” Normani said in part. “It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood, because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat. It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced. Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”
Camila apologized for her words, calling her younger self “ignorant” and “uneducated.”
Standing with George Floyd protesters, she been using her voice to speak out this week, saying “I’ve been trying to find the right words to say after I saw the video where George Floyd’s life is being taken from him with impunity… I am so sorry to George Floyd’s family and Ahmaud Arbery’s family, And Breonna Taylor’s family and to the countless other black families that have their children and parents being taken away from them.” She also urged her followers to sign petitions.
11. Jake PaulSource:Getty
Youtuber and boxer Jake Paul was accused of bullying Spanish YouTubers Ivan and Emilio Martinez, who were a part of his “influencer group.” Paul would reportedly make fun of their background and heritage, as the brothers spoke English as a second language. The brothers also claimed he made racist remarks, destroyed their space, and pulled some horrible pranks.
Jake Paul posted a #BlackOutTuesday square and has also used his story to promote awareness of police violence.