Don Lemon tore into Hollywood stars for sitting on the sidelines as protests sweep the nation over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.
During a CNN broadcast on Saturday night, Lemon asked why so many celebrities are “doing nothing” as their fans fight for justice on the streets of the U.S.
“What about Hollywood?” asked Lemon, who said many stars were “strangely quiet” as demonstrations and looting raged in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and other cities.
“What about Hollywood? Strangely quiet,” says @donlemon. “Why aren’t they helping these young people? These young people are out there standing on a platform on the edge of an abyss by themselves.” https://t.co/1gRDHHL91h pic.twitter.com/Iu42mIV9L3
— CNN (@CNN) May 31, 2020
As he spoke with Rev. William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign and video played of the unrest, Lemon said a lot of celebrities are tweeting, but that’s about it.
“I see them on Twitter saying, ‘oh, I’m loving what Don’s doing,’ but they got to do more than that, especially black celebrities and black leaders, and white celebrities and rich Hollywood,” the CNN Tonight anchor said.
“Why aren’t they helping these young people? These young people are out there standing on the platform at the edge of the abyss by themselves,” he added.
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Lemon said some stars are more worried about their brands than helping bring about change.
“Yes, I’m calling you out, and you can be mad at me all you want. You’re sitting there and watching TV and you’re b–tching about it,” he added before telling them to take action. “Stop texting me and asking me ‘oh my gosh Don, what is happening to our country?’ … 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.”
George Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer held him down with a knee on his neck. Video recorded by an onlooker showed Floyd pleading “I can’t breathe,” while officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, continued to apply pressure to his neck.
Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
As demonstrations sweep the nation, some celebrities have taken action. Nick Cannon has been in Minneapolis protesting and posted pictures on Instagram.
Insecure actor Kendrick Sampson joined protesters Saturday in Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles and was hit by rubber bullets during clashes with the LAPD. Sampson posted several videos of the protest on his Instagram page.
Beyoncé has called for justice for George Floyd and posted messages on social media and her website urging fans to sign petitions by Change.org, Color of Change, We Can’t Breathe, and the NAACP. “There have been too many times that we’ve seen these violent killings, and no consequences. Yes, someone’s been charged, but justice is far from being achieved,” Beyoncé said in a video on Instagram.
Meanwhile, on Friday Janelle Monáe hosted a food drive in Inglewood for the needy and told reporters that she donated money to help bail out protesters in Minneapolis.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has been sharing details on Twitter telling his followers where they can donate money to help those who have been arrested.
Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have also issued statements on social media about Floyd’s death.