As coverage shifted in recent days from the horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic to the horrors of police violence against people of color, so has shifted the reaction of those watching and experiencing the outpouring of grief and protest at the death of George Floyd in Minnesota while in police custody.
Protests and conflicts with police have spread across the country, as citizens of all walks of life have publicly protested or expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the advocation of police reform. NBA players like Malcolm Brogdon and Jaylen Brown even held a peaceful protest in Atlanta on Saturday, the latter of which drove 15 hours from Boston to hold the event.
But in light of the actions of some, others have noticed the inaction or relative silence of others. CNN anchor Don Lemon, for example, took airtime on Saturday to criticize those in Hollywood and the entertainment industry for their relative silence on the protests and a lack of calls for reform while some portions of America burn.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the CNN anchor called Hollywood “strangely quiet” and advocated that they take more meaningful action in showing support for a troubled community.
“What about Hollywood? Strangely quiet,” the CNN Tonight host said during a conversation with Rev. William Barber as the fifth night of protests over the death of George Floyd unfolded in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and other cities nationwide. As he screened footage of fires and looting in cities nationwide, Lemon continued, “I’ve seen them on Twitter, I see them, ‘Oh, I’m loving what Don Lemon’s doing’ … But they gotta do more than that.”
As for both black and white celebrities, he continued, “Why aren’t they helping these young people? These young people are out there standing on a platform at the edge of an abyss by themselves.”
Lemon said he hopes people, stop “sitting in your mansions and doing nothing” in the wake of protests and calls for change in a troubled nation.
“Yes, I’m calling you out, and you can be mad at me all you want. And what they’re doing, you’re sitting there and watching TV and you’re b***tching abut it… Get on television or do something and help these young people instead of sitting in your mansions and doing nothing. And have some moral courage and stop worrying about your reputation and your brand. “
The segment came on a day where some notable celebrities detailed police actions against them, including John Cusack in Chicago. Others in the music industry have stepped forward to criticize police violence and have shared images of their various forms of protest, and other actions are expected later this week as the nation continues to grapple with violence, poverty and systemic oppression in various forms.